Overlap between provider networks has emerged as an important metric in determining network strength. NetMinder data on the top 15 national dental PPO networks shows that similarly sized networks can actually be quite different in terms of overlap, or how many providers they have in common.
Why is network overlap important? Here are three key reasons:
- The dental benefits market is relatively flat. From 2002 to 2011, the percentage of the U.S. population with dental benefits has ranged between 54% and 58%.
- Take-away business fuels dental plan growth.
- Minimizing disruption for plan members is important if you want to take away business, and a higher rate of overlap with your competitors’ networks means less disruption.
Among the top 15 national dental PPO networks, the overlap in access points ranges from 39% to 68%, while the overlap in unique dentists ranges from 53% to 88%.
The greater the overlap you have with as many networks as possible, the better positioned you are to take away business from your competitors.