Insurer expands list of dentists via deal
Nevada’s biggest dental preferred provider organization Diversified Dental Services Inc.
gets more marketing muscle through a deal with a major employer benefits company.
And the arrangement allows the benefits company, New York-based Assurant Employee Benefits, to quadruple the number of dentists available to its Nevada customers through its affiliated PPO, Dental Health Alliance.
The arrangement between the two companies took effect June 1.
Dental Health Alliance is a national preferred provider network with nearly 40,000 dental members nationwide.
The company’s presence in Nevada, however, was fairly modest 179 dentists statewide, only about a dozen of them in the Reno and Carson City areas.
Diversified Dental Services, meanwhile, is strong in Nevada.
Mary Streshley, the Reno-based northern Nevada regional manager for Diversified Dental Services, said the company’s network includes 680 dental professionals statewide.
And the company is particularly strong in northern Nevada, where it counts 167 dentists and specialists as members of its preferred provider group.
Diversified Dental Services also boasts most of the state’s largest employers including the state government, major casinos and big utilities among its customers.
But the nine-year-old PPO based at Las Vegas doesn’t offer much national presence.
Along with Nevada, Diversified Dental serves parts of southern Utah, Bullhead City, Ariz., and recently added operations in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.
An executive of Dental Health Alliance said affiliations such as the company’s deal in Nevada are critical for his company’s growth.
“PPO network growth is a priority for our business,” said James Gimarelli, vice president of dental marketing for Assurant Employee Benefits.
“This agreement adds value to our dental plans by giving our customers four times the number of choices.”
The combined network will be marketed under the Dental Health Alliance name, Gimarelli said.
“The thing that I like most about entrepreneurship is I can work toward something that I’m passionate about and be at the forefront of the change that I want to see happen,” said Priyanka Senthil, a senior at Davidson Academy in Reno and co-founder of startup company AUesome.