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Regulatory Compliance

Dentists must screen patients for measles, other ATDs, prior to providing treatment

As the number of measles cases in California and at least 25 other states continues to rise, becoming the highest number of reported cases in the U.S. since 1994, dental practices should ensure that they are screening patients for the highly contagious virus and other aerosol transmissible diseases prior to providing treatment.

Dentists required by new law to use updated informed consent form

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.

Dentists required to comply with new information blocking rule granting patients more access to health records

All health care providers, including dentists, will soon be required to comply with a new federal regulation that aims to enhance a patient’s right to access their health information. Under the new rule, patients will have greater and, at times, immediate access to health information.

Dentists' use of Botox requires appropriate dental treatment plan documentation

At the direction of the 2018 CDA House of Delegates, CDA has been working with the Dental Board of California to better understand the scope of practice for general dentists as it relates to the use of cosmetic agents such as Botox and dermal fillers. The house directed CDA to take this action to clear up confusion that arose from the creation of the Elective Facial Cosmetic Surgery permit as it relates to the scope of cosmetic services general dentists may provide.

Do collection agency efforts violate HIPAA - it depends

CDA Practice Support recently received a call from a dentist about a disgruntled patient who was accusing the dentist of violating the patient’s HIPAA privacy rights because of a past-due bill.

Specifically, the patient claimed that they received a letter from a collection agency and the fact that the collection agency had their information was a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). CDA confirmed that this is not a violation of HIPAA as long as the dentist took the proper steps to inform patients how the practice uses patient information and to provide to the collection agency only the minimum necessary information for the agency to perform its work.

Face coverings, social distancing still required for fully vaccinated patients and staff in dental office

Some dentists are unclear about whether to maintain face covering and social distancing requirements in the dental office following the CDC's updated mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Cal/OSHA has not yet updated its COVID-19 prevention guidance for dental offices. Protocols for masks and social distancing are still required. 

FDA bans active ingredients from nonprescription antiseptic products

In a final rule issued by the Food and Drug Administration, 24 active ingredients used in nonprescription antiseptic products are “not generally recognized as safe and effective” (GRAS/GRAE) for use by health care professionals in health care settings or situations “due to insufficient data.” The ban applies to use of these ingredients in over-the-counter antiseptics and takes effect Dec. 20, 2018.

Final EPA rule prohibits 'sewering' of pharmaceutical hazardous waste

Health care facilities that produce pharmaceutical hazardous waste are required to properly manage the disposal of that waste according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Among other provisions, the EPA’s finalized rule issued in July prohibits facilities from pouring pharmaceutical hazardous waste down sink drains or toilets, a practice known as “sewering.”

For many California health care workers, fully vaccinated against COVID-19 now means getting booster

California issued an order requiring approximately 2.5 million of the state’s health care workers to get the COVID-19 booster to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state order does not include dental offices, but Santa Clara County and San Francisco have since issued booster orders for dental personnel.

Health care providers exempt from new state privacy law

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.

Health entity fined for failure to provide timely patient records

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.

iCoreRx can help CDA members comply with state law requiring e-prescribing by Jan. 1 deadline

No later than Jan. 1, 2022, dentists will be required by state law to issue electronic prescriptions for all medications, with very few exceptions. CDA members have a new option to assist their compliance with iCoreRx e-prescribing software from CDA’s Endorsed Services partner iCoreConnect. 

Mandatory checks in CURES take effect Oct. 2

The Department of Justice on April 2 announced that California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, also known as CURES 2.0, is ready for statewide use and that mandatory CURES consultation becomes effective Oct. 2, 2018. Beginning on this date, prescribers must check a patient’s prescription history in CURES 2.0 before prescribing a Schedule II-IV substance, with some exceptions.

Mandatory CURES consultation in effect Oct. 2

Beginning Oct. 2, all licensees authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish or dispense controlled substances in California must, with some exceptions, check a patient’s prescription history in CURES 2.0 before prescribing a Schedule II-IV substance, as CDA first reported in April. One notable exemption to mandatory CURES consultation that applies to dental care and that CDA helped secure is summarized here.

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