New state minimum wage to take effect Jan. 1
Many California employees will begin earning a new minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2017, per legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April. Under the new state law, dental practice owners with 26 or more employees must begin paying a minimum wage of $10.50. Practice owners with 25 or fewer employees have an additional year to comply with the law.
EPA's final rule on amalgam separators expected soon
The Environmental Protection Agency in October 2014 issued a draft rule under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream from dental practices. The final rule, which may become effective as early as December 2016, will regulate dental practices that place or remove amalgam.
Renew membership online, preserve benefits
With membership in organized dentistry, dentists ensure their voices and the needs of the profession are represented on every level. Members have the option of renewing in full or enrolling in the electronic dues payment program. The EDP program allows for payments in automatically deducted, equal monthly installments.
Your holiday shopping can benefit the CDA Foundation
Online shoppers who also enjoy donating to charitable organizations can do both — at no extra cost — through the CDA Foundation’s partnership with AmazonSmile. The website has the same products and prices as, but donates 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to charitable organizations chosen by the AmazonSmile customer.
New overtime rule blocked by federal judge
A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday, Nov. 22, issued a nationwide injunction blocking implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rule concerning overtime pay for certain employees who are currently classified as exempt from overtime. The injunction follows lawsuits filed by multiple states and business groups.
Holiday pay: Laws and best practices
As requests for time off increase during the holiday season, understanding the laws that govern holiday pay and observing a few best practices will go a long way toward maintaining an efficient and harmonious office. Here are key state laws and best practices to observe in the dental office.
OCR's new FAQ addresses business associates' use of PHI
A new FAQ from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights clarifies that a business associate cannot prevent a HIPAA-covered entity’s access to protected health information maintained by the business associate (for or on behalf of the covered entity) unless provided for within a contract.
Medicare Part D enrollment deadline now January 2019
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has again extended the deadline for dentists to either enroll as a Medicare Part D "ordering/referring provider" or opt out of the Medicare program entirely. The previous deadline was Feb. 1, 2017, but it has now been extended to Jan. 1, 2019.
CDT 2017 dental code changes are here
CDT 2017 is the newest version of the American Dental Association’s code on dental procedures and nomenclature. Dentists will need to prepare for the 2017 dental code changes effective Jan. 1, 2017. CDA is happy to see the addition of D4346: Scaling in presence of generalized moderate or severe gingival inflammation.
New, easier to use Form I-9 available now
Practice owners who are hiring or planning to hire new employees soon should use the newest version of the Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. The new form clarifies several points of confusion for employees and employers and is designed to be easier to use.
Taking inventory to safeguard the dental practice
Relying on memory alone to recount business assets is an exercise in futility. While most dentists have a general idea what they own and how much it’s worth, not all have a thorough, detailed inventory of their office contents. Unfortunately, failing to document all items of value can lead to a shortage of insurance coverage should a loss occur.
Recipients of 2016 CDA Foundation awards announced
Two ways the CDA Foundation gives are through community grants and educational scholarships. Over the years, these awards have enabled thousands of people to receive more than $109 million in care. The CDA Foundation has announced the recipients of four annual awards and educational scholarships.
Covered California embedded children's dental plans released
The 2017 open enrollment period for Covered California, California’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, continues through Jan. 31. CDA reported in September on the partial list of participating dental plans for 2017. The complete list of providers, along with the 2017 embedded children’s dental plans, has now been released.
Prop. 56 passes; major win for oral health
CDA is excited to report that Proposition 56, co-sponsored by CDA to raise the state’s tobacco tax by $2, passed overwhelmingly in yesterday’s election with 62 percent of the vote. Winning a ballot measure campaign in California is a massive undertaking, especially with an opposition as powerful and well-funded as the tobacco industry.
Ensure compliance with OCR's final rule on Section 1557
Dentists participating as providers in the Denti-Cal program, along with provider entities who have received “meaningful use” funding from HHS and those dentists who participate as Medicare Part C plan providers, should be fully complying with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights’ final rule concerning Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
Proposition 65 notice requirements revised
The California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has adopted a regulation revising the notices that dental practices are required to post under Proposition 65, known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The regulation takes effect in 2018.
Dentists should respond to dental plan verifications
Under SB 137, which went into effect July 1, dentists contracted with dental plans must respond to a plan’s request for accurate directory information within 30 days or face payment delays, reimbursement reductions or termination of their participating provider agreement.
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