The California Consumer Privacy Act, which took effect Jan. 1, aims to give California consumers greater control over their personal information by imposing certain obligations on entities covered by the law. Although health care providers such as dental practices are exempt from this new law, it is important to understand that some of the law’s provisions are similar to those required by HIPAA and the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.
Countless protections are in place to safeguard our private financial data. In the dental office, data encryption, anti-virus software and firewalls are the go-to preventative measures, not to mention the classic lock-and-key methods for securing hardware and other items of value. Unfortunately, smart thieves can, and have, found ways to outwit many of the most advanced security systems.
Maria Ladd can cite many examples of good patient outcomes from her eight years and counting as a registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, but she has a couple of favorites. One involves a first-time patient, age 80, who resided in an assisted living center. The patient’s daughter had contacted Ladd to request a teeth cleaning on her mother’s behalf.
The new year and an expanded sales and service team at TDIC Insurance Solutions promise to deliver an enhanced, “more holistic” customer service experience for TDIC policyholders. In fact, policyholders who’ve called TDIC Insurance Solutions recently may have already noticed the change. Effective January, policyholders in California, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota and North Dakota now benefit from having one dedicated agent and one dedicated account manager.
Employers in California can now visit a single website to help them understand their requirements under a new law that further restricts their ability to classify their workers as independent contractors. Launched late last year by the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, the website provides employer-specific resources and FAQ summarizing AB 5 and the ABC test and more.
Some hospitals in the U.S. have stopped the practice of covering patients’ reproductive organs during radiographic examinations, but CDA reminds dentists that current state regulation requires that protective aprons be used during dental radiography. The move by hospitals follows an April 2019 recommendation by the American College of Radiology and other medical groups, Kaiser Health News reported last month.
As a dental practice owner, annually reviewing your policies with The Dentists Insurance Company is an essential step to ensure the safety and success of your business and employees. As your practice evolves, you may find yourself in need of additional coverage to better protect your company from unexpected risks. The start of the new year is a good time to make necessary changes to guarantee you have the adequate protection for your company’s needs.
CDA-sponsored legislation that further increases dental plan transparency became law on Jan. 1. AB 954 requires dental plans to be more transparent about the leasing of dental networks. The new law will reduce patient and dentist confusion caused by the increasing number of plans leasing their networks to other payers, many times unbeknownst to the enrollee or contracted dentist(s). The law took effect for contracts entered into on or after Jan. 1, 2020.
Many employers fear that allowing employees to work from home will result in lowered productivity and misrepresented time sheets. However, studies have shown that allowing employees to work from home on occasion has numerous benefits, including improved morale and better employee retention. But employers are often uncertain about their responsibilities for managing risk. Who is responsible if an employee becomes injured on the job? What about HIPAA considerations?