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 do I need to do?

You need to know whether your office uses a modem for sending claims or not. If it does, you need to transition to the ITRANS Claim Service (ITRANS) to continue transmitting dental claims electronically. If you transmit claims to Alberta Blue Cross (ABC), you also need to install additional software for ABC.

What do I need to do to transition to ITRANS?

The 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 office on the Internet. See the step-by-step instructions below for what you need to do to transition to the internet.  Click here for more information about ITRANS and its additional benefits.

Transition to ITRANS – Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Does your office use a telephone modem?

Determine if your office uses a telephone modem for sending CDAnet claims. How to tell:

  1. If you hear the "squawk" of the modem when a claim is sent, you use a modem (but the modem could also be on silent mode); or
  2. Call the CDA Practice Support Services (PSS) Help Desk (1-866-788-1212); or
  3. Ask your vendor.
Step 2: Bring Internet to the computer(s) that sends claims.
  • The computer that sends dental claims will need access to the Internet.
  • Ensure robust Internet security is used at the dental office. Protecting your dental office from online threats requires professional grade hardware, software and services.
  • If you already have Internet installed, this may be a good time to have IT security professionals assess the Internet security at your office.
Step 3: Is Practice Management Software up to date?

Determine if the version of Windows and the dental software you use support the CDA Digital ID and ITRANS—contact your vendor (if your software is less than five years old, it probably does).

  1. If your software needs updating, your computer hardware may need updating as well—contact your vendor.
  2. Note the CDA Digital ID cannot be installed on Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008.
Step 4: Contact your software vendor to install the ITRANS iCA

Install the ITRANS iCA software on the computer(s) that transmit claims.

  1. Contact your vendor—the initial installation of the ITRANS iCA must be completed by your software vendor. Do Not attempt this on your own.
  2. If you send claims to Alberta Blue Cross via a telephone modem, your vendor will also have to install the CCD-WS application used to transmit to ABC over the internet. Please see question below on what you need to do to submit claims to Alberta Blue Cross.
Step 5: Sign in to the CDA PSS website and subscribe to ITRANS and request CDA Digital ID(s) for each dentist

Subscribe to ITRANS and get CDA Digital IDs for security. The CDA Digital ID ensures the security of claims transmitted on the Internet.

  1. Each dentist who will send claims must log into CDA PSS website at
    1. If dentist does not have a username/password, call PSS Help Desk (1-866-788-1212).
    2. Each dentist will need a unique email address.
  2. When logged in, each dentist:
    1. Subscribes to ITRANS for the office in question.
    2. Requests a CDA Digital ID for the office in question. One CDA Digital ID per computer that sends claims is needed. Print the page with the CDA Digital ID Secure Codes, these will be needed in the next step.
    3. The owner dentist may choose to set up an account for an office administrator so the administrator can complete these tasks in the future.
    4. Each dentist may choose to give permission to the office owner/administrator to download CDA Digital IDs on their behalf.
Step 6: Install the CDA Digital ID

Install the CDA Digital IDs onto the computer(s) that send claims.

  1. Download the CDA Digital ID Installer and install the software on the computer(s) that send claims.
  2. Run the installer and input the Secure Codes retrieved above.
  3. The installer will install the CDA Digital IDs onto the computer(s).

With the steps above completed, the system should be ready to securely transmit dental claims on the Internet using the ITRANS Claim Service.

I submit claims to Alberta Blue Cross. What do I need to do?

ABC only receives claims directly from the dental office, not through ITRANS. Many offices in Alberta already use ITRANS on the Internet for all claims except ABC, for which they use a modem. Effective September 30, 2017, ABC will stop taking claims via telephone modem, so all offices that transmit to ABC via modem will need to install the CCD-WS software that ABC accepts claims from.

I already use ITRANS

  • If you send claims to Alberta Blue Cross with a modem, but use ITRANS for all other claims, you already have the needed CDA Digital IDs, you only need the CCD-WS software installed. Contact your software vendor to arrange this.

I do not use ITRANS

  • If you send all claims (Alberta Blue Cross and other claims processors) via a telephone modem, follow step-by-step instructions to transition to ITRANS. In addition, contact your vendor and ask them to install the CCD-WS for Alberta Blue Cross.

What is 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. Both ITRANS and the CCD-WS use the CDA Digital ID to ensure the security of claims transmitted on the Internet.

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.

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?

Follow the step-by-step instructions to transition to ITRANS (above). If you submit electronic claims to Alberta Blue Cross, assess your requirements (refer to above question on what you need to do to submit claims to ABC).

Remember, that transitioning to the internet can take considerable time and should be planned for accordingly. Both your software vendor and the CDA Practice Support Services (PSS) Help Desk (1-866-788-1212) are available to assist you in this transition.