Our analysis of the top 15 dental PPO networks revealed another important trend: market penetration is growing, with room for more growth in the future.
Dental PPO market penetration (contracted providers as a percent of the available number of providers) continues to grow. As of March 2012, the average national PPO plan contracted with approximately 72,000 providers, representing 37.8% of available providers, up from 37.2% a year prior. By comparison, in 2008, market penetration was only 28.1%, with fewer than 50,000 providers contracted. The recent growth seems due in part to an increase in the number of networks dentists are joining. Networks per provider increased from 5.9 in 2008 to 8.4 in March 2012.
Of course, there’s still plenty of room for growth. With nearly 120,000 providers, on average, not yet participating, we expect dental PPO market penetration to continue to increase.