Claims of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination aren’t unique to large corporations. Federal discrimination lawsuits against Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company and Wal-Mart tend to make the headlines with their multimillion-dollar settlements, but under the protection of state laws, California workers at smaller companies, including dental practices, can file lawsuits claiming that their legal rights as employees have been violated. And they do.
Protections for nursing mothers in California were significantly expanded under a bill signed into law in October by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Senate Bill 142 clarifies employer obligations to provide breaks and safe, private locations that include specified accommodations. The bill increases penalties for noncompliance and requires that employers implement a written lactation accommodation policy beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
The ubiquity of cellphone use puts employers in a difficult spot. See how phone use can bring up questions of productivity, professionalism and privacy in a dental office setting, and how to develop and enforce appropriate policies.
Health care providers can expect to see major revisions to the Medi-Cal program over the next couple of years as a result of a new initiative by the Department of Health Care Services. Released in late October, the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal will implement “broader delivery system, program and payment reform across the Medi-Cal Program,” according to the proposal summary.
From a young age, Matthew Mecheal, DDS, has been sure about two things: his passion for helping others and his love for dentistry. Through the years, he never lost sight of his goals or the values that were instilled in him many years ago. As an advocate for the underserved and this year’s recipient of the CDA Foundation’s Student Loan Repayment Grant, Dr. Mecheal plans to focus on his personal objective to improve the oral health of underserved communities and minimize barriers to care.
CDA Practice Support receives hundreds of calls each year concerning the coordination of benefits when a patient has more than one dental plan for coverage. Standard COB allows secondary dental plans to pay up to 100% of the covered service, i.e., the primary plan pays the service at 80%, and the secondary could pick up the remaining 20%. Here, CDA’s dental benefits analyst covers the COB basics and answers common questions members have about COB.
Two large, national dental supply companies charged in October with violating U.S. antitrust laws have declined to appeal the decision to the federal district court, according to a news release from the Federal Trade Commission. In an interim decision last month, an administrative law judge for the FTC held that Benco Dental Supply Company and Patterson Companies Inc. conspired to refuse to provide discounts to, or otherwise serve, buying groups representing dental practitioners.
A new guideline from the American Dental Association advises against using antibiotics to manage pain and swelling for most pulpal and periapical conditions in immunocompetent adults. The guideline, published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, recommends only the use of dental treatment for pulpal and periapical conditions. The new guideline comes at a time when antibiotics are under scrutiny.
Get to know CDA’s November Student Spotlight, Austin De Los Santos from the University of Southern California class of 2022.
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.
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.
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.