Keeping politically informed is vital to your professional success. CDA helps members stay up-to-date about licensing, compliance, mandates, workers’ compensation and other issues, including action at the Dental Board of California.
Some states may have more rigorous emergency kit requirements, and The Dentists Insurance Company advises dentists to check with their state dental board or dental association for specifics on what to include beyond ADA recommendations. TDIC advises all dentists to know when, how and in what dosages to administer drugs included in their emergency kits. Stocking emergency medications but lacking the training to administer them appropriately can be a liability.
As a result of a recent announcement from the Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC), licensed dentists and registered dental hygienists are each now required to provide specified public notification that they are licensed and regulated by the Dental Board of California and the DHCC, respectively.
Recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) expanded patient rights with regard to their health information and added a breach notification rule for covered entities, such as dentists, to follow.
The combination of a HIPAA deadline and vendor communications about the deadline recently sent many CDA members to the Internet and telephone to find out what assistance they could get from the Practice Support Center. Callers had specific questions on the requirement to securely transmit protected health information to other dental practices.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has announced that it is no longer moving forward with a legislative package to reform the Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws. CDA had been the only health care organization invited to participate in stakeholder discussions with the administration on this issue.
Many CDA members are calling the CDA Practice Support Center and asking what they need to include in their medical emergency kit. Most dental offices have one emergency kit to be used for both employees and patients. For employees, Cal/OSHA does not specify what should be in a medical emergency kit, just that the employer have documentation that a physician approved the kit.
The federal OSHA's deadline for dentists to train employees on the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s adopted revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard is Dec. 1. Compliance with other elements of the rule must be met by June 1, 2016.
The Dental Board of California has released for public comment its proposed regulations that would raise the initial licensure and biennial renewal fees for dentists from $365 to $450, the maximum currently allowable by state law. The public has until Sept. 23 to provide written comment (or in-person comment at a public testimony-only hearing to be held on that date in Sacramento).
With the legislature entering the final month of its 2013 session, CDA was an active participant in negotiations with the governor’s office, the legislature, and a variety of business, legal and consumer stakeholders in an attempt to improve the state’s Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws. Prop. 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide “clear and reasonable warning” if the product or business location may expose employees or consumers to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
The Sept. 23 compliance deadline for the omnibus rule/HITECH amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is just around the corner. There are a couple educational options for dentists related to this subject.
New dentists have a lot to juggle and think about after graduating from dental school – one of the things that shouldn’t fall through the cracks is making sure they have the proper permits to dispense controlled substances and administer conscious sedation. When dentists become licensed, they automatically have the ability to write prescriptions for antibiotics, fluoride and other non-controlled substances such as Ibuprofen. When it comes to prescribing, dispensing and administering controlled substances, however, they must first register with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Legal Division of the California State Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has released a legal opinion concluding that a contractual arrangement between a health care professional and an Internet marketing service (Groupon, Living Social, etc.) offering online discounts for medical services violates state law.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited final omnibus rule under HIPAA (Omnibus Rule) on Jan. 25, 2013. The rule implements the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and requires that health care providers amend their Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) and Business Associate Agreements to include new elements. The compliance date for the final rule is Sept. 23, 2013.
California employers have until Dec. 1, 2013, to train employees on the new hazard label elements and safety data sheet format required by the Cal/OSHA Hazard Communication Regulation. Cal/OSHA recently amended the state regulation to conform to federal regulation and the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Employers also need to update their hazard communication plans.
CDA members should be aware that local sanitation agencies are sending surveys to dental practices asking about amalgam waste management practices. It is recommended that members review their protocols. The Practice Support Center’s website, cda.org/compass, has several resources available on amalgam waste.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that enforces HIPAA, has clarified that unencrypted emails may be sent to patients who have been advised of risks and have consented to receive unencrypted emails. CDA offers a few suggestions to obtain patient consent to communicate via unencrypted email. Be sure to retain documentation with the patient record.
CDA will mail updated employment poster sets to local dental societies for distribution to members this month. Several state and federal agencies require employment posters to be conspicuously displayed at dental offices. Stay up to date with CDA’s set.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited final omnibus rule under HIPAA (Omnibus Rule) on Jan. 25. The rule implements the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and amends provisions related to privacy, security, breach notification and enforcement in important ways.
The state Department of Justice announced that Atlantic Associates has implemented its online direct dispense reporting application for data submission to California’s prescription monitoring program, Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES).
From the latest updates on infection control regulation to a reference guide for all things legal as it pertains to dentistry, the Practice Support Center’s website, cda.org/compass has it all. Review the list of the Top 10 Compass Resources in 2012.
Despite strong lobbying from the ADA and other dental organizations, a 2.3 percent medical device excise tax is set to take effect on Jan. 1. Dentists should be aware, however, that the impact of the tax on dental practices is not entirely clear. The Internal Revenue Service has not yet published final regulations or provided guidance as to how it applies to dentistry. The tax may impact dental practices in the form of increased costs for purchasing supplies and equipment.
As of Nov. 28, dental practices are required to post a new notice to consumers. Business and Professions Code Section 138 requires the Dental Board of California, and other licensing boards within the state Department of Consumer Affairs, to require a licensee to post a notice that informs consumers that the licensee is regulated by the state.