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Regulatory Compliance

New dentists must follow substance permit protocol

New dentists have a lot to juggle and think about after graduating from dental school – one of the things that shouldn’t fall through the cracks is making sure they have the proper permits to dispense controlled substances and administer conscious sedation.

When dentists become licensed, they automatically have the ability to write prescriptions for antibiotics, fluoride and other non-controlled substances such as Ibuprofen. When it comes to prescribing, dispensing and administering controlled substances, however, they must first register with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (Separate registration in California is not required.)

New HIPAA training resources from CDA developed specifically for dental practices

Any dental practice that is uncertain if is fully compliant with HIPAA and state privacy laws will benefit from four new HIPAA training resources available in the CDA Practice Support section of cda.org. Each resource is intended to train both the privacy officer and the security officer in a dental practice on their shared responsibilities.

New opioid laws will affect dentistry in 2019 and beyond

Many bills were introduced over the past year to combat the opioid epidemic in California, as CDA previously reported. Here is an overview of CDA-supported legislation in the areas of e-prescribing, informed consent, interstate data sharing and prescription-pad requirements, that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September and how these bills will affect the practice of dentistry.

New safety sharps product available to dentists

A new safety sharps product, the Verena Solutions SimpleCAP, is available to dentists and can be purchased from most major suppliers. Dental practices are required by the Cal/OSHA bloodborne pathogens regulation to regularly evaluate the appropriateness of using safety sharps with the goal of reducing needlesticks and other “sharps” injuries that can cause exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Notice concerning CDA's new poster set: Corrected California Minimum Wage notice required

CDA Practice Support has identified two misprints in the 2019-20 Required Employment Poster Sets that were recently mailed to CDA members who are practice owners. To stay in compliance with state regulations, practice owners should download the correct California Minimum Wage notice and print the notice and affix it to page 4 of the 2019-20 poster set.

Pathway to California RDA license clarified in new CDA resource

Dentists who have hired an out-of-state-trained dental assistant and would like to enable that assistant to become a licensed RDA in California now have a simplified resource to help with that process. The new resource, available at cda.org/practicesupport, clearly defines the two paths that a dental assistant can follow to become a California-licensed dental assistant.

Prescribers can check CURES for misuse of prescription pads

A dentist who writes controlled substance prescriptions can now review CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System) for patients for whom the dentist is listed as a prescriber. This ability to review the list is useful when a dentist has misplaced a prescription pad or has had a prescription pad stolen or when a dentist suspects someone is misusing their DEA number.

Protective aprons required during dental radiography

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.

RDA written and RDA law and ethics exams to be combined

On May 24, 2018, the Registered Dental Assistant Written and Registered Dental Assistant Law and Ethics examinations are expected to launch as a single combined exam. The Dental Board of California and the Dental Assisting Council in a December 2016 meeting agreed to take this action to “ensure that the combined examination is legally defensible and meets the requirements of Business and Professions Code Section 139.”

Resources can help practices get ahead of amalgam separator requirement

Most dental facilities that have not installed an amalgam separator to comply with a rule published in June 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency must install an amalgam separator by July 14, 2020. CDA Practice Support’s resource “Amalgam Separator Requirement — Q&A” was recently updated to reflect recent developments and can assist members with compliance.

Resources on vaccine tracking, patient screening available in new reopening guide for dentists

CDA Practice Support has developed the California State Reopening Guide for Dental Practices to help dentists and dental teams understand their responsibilities to maintain a safe environment and communicate with patients about continued COVID-19 safety precautions in the dental office.

Scammers posing as DEA agents contact dental offices with demands

Several dentists have notified CDA Practice Support or their local dental societies of two scams targeting their dental practices. Dentists in the San Francisco Bay Area, South Lake Tahoe and Central Valley report receiving calls from individuals who claim to be DEA agents, provide badge numbers and proceed to make demands. The callers tell the dentists they could be arrested if the demands are not met.

Surety bonds required for dentists enrolled as DMEPOS suppliers

Beginning June 1, the National Supplier Clearinghouse began sending letters to Medicare-enrolled dentists notifying them that a surety bond of at least $50,000 per office location may be required to initiate or continue their Medicare enrollment as a supplier of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthodontics and supplies. Prior to 2019, dentists were exempt from this rule.

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