While the new Alberta dental fee guide published last week is a “step in the right direction,” more changes are required to bring dental fees down to reasonable levels in the province, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Given that dental fees in Alberta are 26 to 32 per cent higher than elsewhere in the country, more work needs to be done, said Stephen Frank, president and chief executive officer at CLHIA, in a news release. The association has been working with the government of Alberta since 2015 to introduce changes with a more substantial effect than the two to three per cent savings projected by the Alberta Dental Association and College, notes the release.

Read: How do Alberta’s dental fees compare to other provinces?

“In addition to a substantial reduction in dental fees, the CLHIA also strongly recommends that, as is already the case in most other provinces, the dental association and dental college be split into separate entities,” said Frank. “The protection of the public and protection of dentists are conflicting priorities and should not be under the mandate of a single organization.”

Unlike other provincial dental associations, the Alberta Dental Association and College stopped publishing an annual guide that lists dental procedures and their suggested fees in 1997, which has garnered much criticism.

However, the association and college finally released a dental fee guide last Thursday with help from Alberta’s Ministry of Health, and said it developed the guide with hopes that it “will allow dentists to create downward pressure on their costs of services.”

Alberta’s new dental fee guide will go into effect Sept. 1, according to CTV News.

Read: Alberta action plan on dental fees falls short: CLHIA

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com
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Marty:

What about the lease the dentist pay (higher than normal)
– the lab technicians who make more
– the cleaning company, the shredding company, the equipment company, the maintenance company, the IT maintenance, the software fee, the materials, etc., everything costs more in Alberta
– the staff that is pay more than 35-50 % more than other provinces, who will work to bring their salaries down too?
– The new Infection prevention rules impose such burden on dentists in Alberta that the costs are astronomical. Not the same in other provinces.
– How many of the people out there know that a mediocre equipped dental chair costs $35.000???? Or that replacing one lamp bulb costs $200? Or that monthly equipment maintenance is over $6000/month? Plus software, plus energy, plus lease, plus parking, plus materials, plus staff that is paid regardless the patient shows up or not? Who swallows these costs?
– Alberta dentists have higher overhead than other provinces, an Albertan dentist does not make more than one in Saskatchewan (please check)
– Insurances ask for less rates, yet they don’t pay now all the procedures. patients ask for direct billing, yet, the dentist has cases when the treatment was done but the insurance company refuses to pay, looking for all kind of excuses. In many cases, the dentist gets the wok done but end up not being paid. How is that for fairness? Even when is not requested, insurance companies started to ask for pictures, descriptions and letters of explanation from the doctor like he is the last crook on earth. Who pays for its time and this non-productive work?
– In Alberta, dental rules are extremely strict in every regard, and everything costs money.
– Are you sure that less rates in Alberta will decrease insured’s rate. Think again? Practically you will move the value from your dentist that works hard for you, to your insurance pocket while you will pay the same.
– Staff wants to be paid, regardless of the payment from insurance or not, and they want their over-inflated salaries that remain from boom time. Who will made the step in this direction? And what will happen if you cut staff salary? Think about the situation.
The costs are the result of the past oil boom when everyone overinflated everything. Now salaries stay the same, costs the same, yet the dentist must make less?

If this will happen, wait and see where the dental services will go. People WILL GO elsewhere for treatment because no dentist or quality dentist will stay to cope with this situation.

Mass media, again show to the people only their side of the story.

Monday, August 21 at 10:43 am | Reply

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