|Hearing Scheduled for December 2, 2008|
Pursuant to the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance under M.G.L. c. 176E, § 4, the Division of Insurance ("Division") will hold a public hearing under M.G.L. c. 30A, § 2 at 10:00 a.m. on December 2, 2008, at the offices of the Division, One South Station, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-2208, concerning the fees Dental Services of Massachusetts d/b/a Delta Dental Plan of Massachusetts ("Delta Dental"), a nonprofit dental service corporation organized pursuant to M.G.L. c. 176E, pays participating dentists for dental services provided to their subscribers, and the method Delta Dental uses to determine such fees. The hearing will address all products currently marketed by Delta Dental in Massachusetts to the extent that they involve M.G.L. c. 176E, § 4 fees. The hearing shall continue from day to day until completed.
The purpose of this public hearing is to afford all interested persons an opportunity to provide oral and/or written comment or testimony as to whether Delta Dental's fee methodology and the fees it pays to participating dentists comply with the standards set forth in M.G.L. c. 176E, § 4. The hearing on December 2, 2008 will begin with an opportunity for public comment, at which time any interested person may provide unsworn oral comment or submit unsworn written comment. Following this public comment phase, anyone submitting oral or written testimony at the hearing of a factual or expert nature must submit it by sworn oral testimony or by sworn affidavit.
A pre-hearing conference will be held at the Division's offices at 1:00 p.m. on November 6, 2008, to address (1) the standard of review that the Division should employ in reviewing the fees Delta Dental pays participating dentists and the method Delta Dental uses to determine such fees and (2) the burden of proof applicable to the hearing.
The Division is convening this hearing after receiving correspondence about Delta Dental's fees from the Massachusetts Dental Society ("Dental Society"), Delta Dental's written response to these concerns, and further correspondence from the Dental Society and Delta Dental. This written material has been placed in the hearing docket. This hearing has been assigned Docket No. G2008-10.
Any person who wishes to provide oral comment or testimony is requested to file a Notice of Intent to Comment or Testify with the Division on or before November 25, 2008. All other persons who wish to provide oral comment or testimony will be heard after those who notify the Division in advance. Written comments or testimony may be submitted at the public comment opportunity or hearing, or until the record of the hearing is closed. All submissions must be sent to: Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110-2208, and must refer to Docket No. G2008-10
Nonnie S. Burnes
Commissioner of Insurance