Ask Jamie Clarke, and she’ll tell you she grew up in the health insurance industry. “My first career was at a health insurer, and I really loved it.”
Now Delta Dental’s Vice President of Network Development, Jamie Clarke first entered health care with a focus on building out provider networks and ensuring access to care. She found the work rewarding and spent years developing robust provider networks across the country.
Before joining Delta Dental, Jamie served as Chief Value Officer at a Nemours Children’s Health, a pediatric hospital in Delaware. It was there that she came to fully appreciate providing care and delivering positive outcomes.
“I was accountable for keeping kids healthy,” she said, “and that experience was transformative for me.”
Jamie leads a team focused on building out Delta Dental’s multiple networks, from Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA to Medicare Advantage and the Community Care Network.
“A day in the life for me is ensuring that we’re building and maintaining our networks so members have access to care,” Jamie said.
Wherever there are patients looking for care, Jamie’s team ensures there’s a network of dentists available to treat them.
Now Jamie is turning that dedication for members towards dentists. High on her list of priorities is solving operational opportunities like the onboarding process, claims and grievances.
“We know that dentists are extremely busy caring for patients and dealing with multiple insurance carriers,” Jamie said, “so we’re striving to create frictionless, positive experiences for them.”
One way to create those experiences is with efficient technology.
“We still have a lot of paper communications and get a lot of phone calls,” Jamie said. “Resources like our online Provider Tools and electronic claims filing make it easy for providers to get answers and get paid quickly.”
Transparency is also essential.
“We want to be clear about what providers can expect from us and what we need from them to help them succeed,” Jamie said.
That’s why Delta Dental is ramping up educational opportunities and resources, from webinars and articles to continuing education courses, to offer dentists and their staff valuable tools and information.
When it comes to dental insurance, dentists are key. A strong network allows patients to get the care they need. But partnering with Delta Dental brings value to dentists, too.
“We have a large and diverse patient base,” Jamie said, “and because our benefits are structured to encourage members to stay in network, dentists can expect loyalty from their patients.”
Jamie’s No. 1 priority is ensuring that Delta Dental dentists feel heard and respected.
“When a provider gets in touch with us, we want them to feel like there’s a real person on the other side of the interaction,” she said. “They’re not just being shuffled through a queue.”
The pandemic has created new difficulties for dental offices across the country. Many dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic made the difficult decision to retire or close their practice because of the economic challenges, Jamie said. Staffing challenges have also been magnified.
When the pandemic began, Jamie was working at the children’s hospital, where she saw firsthand the difficulties of providing care.
“We had to work even harder to seek positive results,” Jamie said. “We set up outdoor tents to see patients and were trying to figure out creative ways to keep children healthy.”
The dental industry is still reeling from the pandemic, but Delta Dental is here to support dentists through the challenges, Jamie said.
“Call us,” she said. “We’ll listen. We care, and we want to partner together to provide exceptional care to patients.”