A licensed dental professional who provides services via telehealth is subject to the requirements and definitions set forth in Business & Professions Code Section 2290.5, to the Dental Practice Act and to the regulations adopted by the Dental Board.
“Telehealth” is the mode of delivering health care services and public health via information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of a patient’s health care while the patient is at the originating site and the health care provider is at a distant site. Telehealth includes synchronous interactions and asynchronous store-and-forward transfers. “Asynchronous store and forward” means the transmission of a patient’s information from an originating site to the health care provider at a distant site without the presence of the patient.
Prior to the delivery of health care via telehealth, a health care provider at the originating site must verbally inform the patient that telehealth may be used and obtain verbal consent from the patient for this use. The verbal consent shall be documented in the patient’s record. The failure of a healthcare provider to comply with this section shall constitute unprofessional conduct (B&P 686 and 2290.5).
The Dental Board further requires that if a registered dental assistant in extended functions, a registered dental hygienist or a registered dental hygienist in alternative practice treats a patient pursuant to the diagnosis and treatment plan authorized by a supervising dentist at a location other than the dentist’s practice location, the dentist must provide to the patient or patient’s representative written notification that the care was provided at the direction of the authorizing dentist. The notification must include the authorizing dentist’s name, practice location address and telephone number. The provision requiring patient notification of the authorizing dentist is not required for dental hygiene preventive services provided in public health programs as specified and authorized in Section 1911 or for dental hygiene care when provided as specified and authorized in Section 1926 (B & P Section 1684.5).
In telehealth-connected dental teams, dental assistants in extended functions registered dental hygienists and registered dental hygienists in alternative practice are permitted specified duties upon completion of approved training.
Following is a form that serves both as a notice that complies with the Dental Board’s requirement and to obtain informed consent for teledentistry. Complete the top half of the first page prior to having the patient or patient’s parent or legal guardian sign it. Provide a copy to the patient.
Additional CDA Resource: Teledentistry FAQs
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