Before recording, protect private patient information
10/31/2019
Surveillance cameras in dental offices are becoming more and more common. The driving force behind them is typically security, as cameras can aid in loss control, deter theft and discourage other criminal activity. But cameras are not without their drawbacks. Prior to hitting the record button, practice owners should be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding their use. While laws vary from state to state, there are some basic guidelines.
Know your employee pay requirements during a utility power failure
10/30/2019
With planned power shut-offs developing across California in attempt to avoid wildfires, employers are wondering how they are to compensate their nonexempt employees when businesses are unable to be open for work due to power failures. Employers generally are obligated to pay “reporting time pay” to hourly employees when these employees are required to report for work and aren’t provided at least half of their usual hours for the day.
Reinforcing good oral health care habits as Halloween approaches
10/28/2019
In the days leading up to Halloween and on National Brush Day, Nov. 1, dentists and their staff can reinforce the importance of good teeth-brushing habits to help remove sugary candy residue and prevent oral disease.
Dental board faces lawsuit over direct-to-consumer orthodontics
10/24/2019
SmileDirectClub LLC filed a lawsuit last week in federal court that alleges the Dental Board of California conspired to hurt the company’s business. The lawsuit came several days after Gov. Newsom signed AB 1519, which establishes fundamental consumer protections for patients who receive dental treatment via telehealth. The plaintiffs claim that dentists serving on the dental board have undertaken “an aggressive, anti-competitive campaign” against SmileDirectClub, its affiliated dental practices and its direct-to-consumer business model.
Dentists required by new law to use updated informed consent form
10/23/2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that revises language in the written informed consent form that dentists must provide to patients prior to administering general anesthesia and deep or moderate sedation. Although the new law does not impact the practice of dentistry, dentists should ensure that beginning Jan. 1, 2020, they are using a consent form that is compliant with the new law.
Auto-adjudication can expedite claims processing, but it can also confuse dentists
10/22/2019
Today, many dental benefit plans use auto-adjudication to process a high number of their claims. While auto-adjudication can speed up claim processing, if an office is not aware that this type of technology is being used, the office can be confused and frustrated by processing errors as the result of manual claims submission. The following three examples illustrate how a plan might use auto-adjudication and how that process might affect dental reimbursement.
Not your father's Medi-Cal
10/21/2019
Improvements to the Medi-Cal Dental program continue with new options for dentists who treat Medi-Cal members, including the ability to provide fluoride treatment and fluoride varnish as a benefit once every four months for patients under age 6. The increase in the benefit periodicity underscores the state’s commitment to regular preventive oral health visits for young children in California.
The Dentists Supply Company issues statement regarding initial ruling in FTC case against dental suppliers accused of conspiracy
10/16/2019
An administrative law judge has partially ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint that dental products distributors conspired not to provide discounts to buying groups. According to the FTC, the judge’s initial decision has held that two of three respondents named in the complaint violated U.S. antitrust laws by conspiring to refuse to provide discounts to, or otherwise serve, buying groups representing dental practitioners.
'ABC test' is now the law, but it's not a free ticket for independent contractors
10/15/2019
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, it will be more difficult for most employers in California to classify workers as independent contractors, rather than employees, and in some cases will make employees out of independent contractors. And although CDA secured an exemption for dentists, employee classification still isn’t clear-cut, and dentists will need to err on the side of caution when classifying their workers.
Victory for direct-to-consumer orthodontic patient protection bill
10/14/2019
Direct-to-consumer orthodontic patients will gain new protections when CDA-supported Assembly Bill 1519 becomes the law in January 2020. The first of its kind in the nation, the new law will protect patients from DTC orthodontic companies that are putting profits before patients by taking potentially unsafe shortcuts to the accepted standards of care.
Gift card scam targets dentists, dental professionals in California
10/14/2019
A current email scam is using the name of CDA President Del Brunner, DDS, in an attempt to trick the recipient into purchasing a high-value gift card from a multinational retailer. As of this writing, CDA has not received any reports from members who have received the imposter email but has confirmed that the emails are circulating to individuals in the California dental field.
Dental practice pays $10K to settle disclosures of patients' PHI on social media
10/10/2019
A private dental practice in Dallas, Texas, has agreed to pay $10,000 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights to settle potential violations of the HIPAA privacy rule. The HHS reported that the OCR completed its investigation of a complaint by a patient who alleged that the practice disclosed on social media the patient’s last name and the details of the patient’s health condition.
Online convenience + responsive service = stress-free supply shopping
10/09/2019
In addition to controlling their overhead costs, practices of every size are streamlining and saving time by shopping tdsc.com. Consistent supply pricing, 24/7 online convenience and responsive customer service have helped make the purchasing process quick and stress-free. In shopping tdsc.com for his New York-based practice, Payam Goudarzi, DDS, discovered better pricing on almost all items compared to what he had been paying competitors.
Proceed with caution when making pay deductions for salaried employees
10/08/2019
The decision to classify your employee as exempt or nonexempt should not be taken lightly. The distinction between the two is significant, and the two are also managed very differently. Therefore, employers should understand not only how to determine an employee’s classification but how to follow appropriate pay requirements as well.
Workers' compensation: Your obligations as an employer
10/07/2019
The responsibilities of dental practice owners extend far beyond patient care. As an employer, you also have an obligation to ensure you are following workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation insurance provides state-mandated benefits to employees who suffer an injury or illness that arose out of or occurred in the course and scope of employment.
October Student Spotlight
10/04/2019
Get to know CDA’s October Student Spotlight, Alivia Stoddard from Western University College of Dental Medicine class of 2021.
CDA Cares San Bernardino provides nearly $1.5 million in care
10/03/2019
Thousands of patients and volunteers flocked to the National Orange Show Events Center at the CDA Foundation’s 16th CDA Cares volunteer dental clinic to receive and provide dental care at no cost. Dentists and dental professionals performed 10,412 procedures, including fillings, extractions and cleanings, providing $1.46 million in care to 1,626 people. The event took place Sept. 27-28 in San Bernardino for the first time.
Health entity fined for failure to provide timely patient records
10/02/2019
A medical center in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the first to face enforcement action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for failing to promptly provide a patient with medical records. The HHS Office for Civil Rights announced early this year that it would vigorously enforce its Right of Access Initiative that allows patients to receive copies of their medical records promptly and without being overcharged.
Do you know where your data is?
10/01/2019
Ransomware attacks on health care facilities are increasing, as are the financial losses incurred by them. In one case reported to TDIC, a dentist had to replace software in the practice due to the extensive damage caused by a virus that gained access through an email attachment. The expenses totaled $49,000 to restore the data, decrypt the data and pay the ransom.
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