Viewpoint of DSOs on the Canadian Dental Care Plan

Viewpoint of DSOs on the Canadian Dental Care Plan

Viewpoint of DSOs on the Canadian Dental Care Plan

The launch of the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) has triggered a wave of uncertainty and apprehension among dentists and clinicians across Canada. Many practitioners, concerned about the program’s impact and administrative complexities, have hesitated to enroll or start treating patients under the CDCP, which launched May 1. Recent figures indicate that only a fraction of oral healthcare providers have signed up so far,1 reflecting widespread reservations within the profession. 

Despite the initial challenges, there are signs of progress and adaptation within the CDCP framework. Notable developments, such as the option for oral health providers to directly bill Sun Life on a claim-by-claim basis starting July 8,2 suggest a responsiveness to industry feedback and a willingness to evolve over time. 

Julian Perez, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Dentalcorp draws insightful parallels between the challenges of the COVID pandemic and the rollout of the Canadian Dental Care Plan. 

“In times of disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and now with the Canadian Dental Care Plan, our scale, infrastructure, and dedicated support staff have been mobilized to benefit our clinicians,” says Perez. “As we navigate the Canadian Dental Care Plan, there are clear advantages for a dentist to lean on a network of peers for collaboration and support in this rapidly changing environment. Having dedicated information technology, operations, and regulatory compliance programs is a tremendous benefit in effectively managing change.” 

With practices in the Windsor-Essex area, Dr. David Mady highlights the importance of embracing the CDCP.  

“The rollout had its hiccups, but it’s here to stay. Dismissing it not only denies patients crucial dental care but also redirects them to other practices that have enrolled,” says Dr. Mady. “Navigating the CDCP feels like exploring uncharted territory, but being part of a network helps us chart a course forward more effectively.”  

Calgary-based Dr. Scott Spackman acknowledges the new program’s challenges but keeps his focus on his patients. 

“Despite the initial complexities and confusion surrounding the CDCP, our dedication to providing excellent patient care remains unchanged,” says Dr. Spackman. “Handling administrative challenges and clarifying program details to new patients can be daunting, but Dentalcorp’s support during the rollout has been invaluable. They keep us informed about program updates and help us streamline processes, allowing us to focus on delivering quality oral healthcare. Being part of a larger network equips us with the tools needed to adjust effectively during a time of significant change. 

Since the launch of the CDCP, numerous new patients, particularly seniors, have encountered difficulties locating dentists accepting eligible patients. To bridge this gap and connect prospective patients with dental clinics in their area that serve CDCP patients, Dentalcorp provides the hellodent platform,3 complemented by SunLife’s4 national search resource. These directories facilitate easy access to essential oral healthcare for Canadians seeking CDCP providers. 

As the CDCP takes effect, the dental community faces inevitable change, with varying degrees of acceptance. However, the overarching commitment to enhancing the oral health of Canadians remains paramount. Being part of a large network is one way to alleviate the new challenges dentists face via access to resources and supports that facilitate effective adaptation and the delivery of quality patient-centric care in this rapidly evolving environment. 

References 

  1. CBC, Marina von Stackelberg, May 1, 2024 – https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-dental-care-plan-cdcp-seniors-coverage-begins-may-1-1.7189717 
  2. Health Canada – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/dental/dental-care-plan/providers.html 
  3. https://www.hellodent.com/site/service/service-cdcp 
  4. https://www.sunlife.ca/sl/cdcp/en/member/provider-search/ 

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