Telephone Modem Support Discontinued – Questions you may be asking

What's the issue?

TELUS Health and Alberta Blue Cross have announced that effective September 30, 2017 they will no longer accept CDAnet dental claims transmitted to them with a telephone modem. This is a business decision on their part to retire obsolete technology that is increasingly difficult to support. Note that TELUS Health is the network that the majority of dental benefit claims are transmitted to.

What does this mean?

Effectively, this means that you will have to transition to using the Internet to transmit CDAnet dental benefit claims.

What are my options?

This is where it gets a little complicated.

Outside of Quebec, there are two options:

  1. The CDA ITRANS Claim Service, or simply "ITRANS", is the method over 80% of dental offices currently use.  With ITRANS, you can transmit to all claims processors except Alberta Blue Cross. This includes Pacific Blue Cross and Manitoba Blue Cross who only receive claims on telephone technology; ITRANS will switch a claim to the telephone lines after it leaves your office on the Internet. Click here for more information about ITRANS and its additional benefits.

  2. The CCD-WS software. The CCD-WS is software created by the insurance industry and has been accepted by CDA. The CCD-WS is similar to the software that sends claims through a modem except it sends them securely on the Internet. With the CCD-WS claims can be sent to the TELUS Health network or Alberta Blue Cross. Pacific Blue Cross and Manitoba Blue Cross cannot be reached, and neither can the claims processors who are exclusively on the instream network.

What about in Quebec?

In Quebec, CDA members can use ITRANS to send claims to all claims processors. There is also the Net+ service of ACDQ, and it is currently unknown if the CCD-WS will be available in Quebec.

I'm in Alberta, can I use both ITRANS and the CCD-WS to reach Alberta Blue Cross?

Yes, ITRANS and the CCD-WS are compatible with each other. With both, you will be able to reach all claims processors.

Anything else I need to know about the technical changes?

Yes, you need to know about the CDA Digital ID. Both ITRANS and the CCD-WS use the CDA Digital ID to ensure the security of claims transmitted on the Internet. You need the CDA Digital ID for each office you transmit claims from. You get the CDA Digital ID from the CDA Practice Support Services website.

How much will this cost?

There is no cost to subscribe to ITRANS, use the CCD-WS, or to retrieve the CDA Digital ID. The CDA services are part of your association membership. There may be costs if your dental software needs updating. Also, if you do not have Internet access at the computer(s) that sends claims, this will have to be arranged. If you have a dedicated phone line for your CDAnet modem, this can be discontinued when you have transitioned to the Internet, saving the cost of this.

What should I do now?

A good place to start is to contact your software vendor. Depending on the version of the software you are using, an upgrade to a current version may be needed. This can take considerable time and should be planned for accordingly. Also, if you do not already have a username and password for the CDA Practice Support Services website, you should contact the CDA Help Desk (1-866-788-1212) and get signed into the site. Once you are fully registered, subscribing to ITRANS and retrieving the CDA Digital ID is straightforward.