Regulatory Compliance

Make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations regarding the practice of dentistry, environment and radiation, general business, infection control, Cal/OSHA and privacy/HIPAA.

Dental practice pays $10K to settle disclosures of patients' PHI on social media
10/10/2019
A private dental practice in Dallas, Texas, has agreed to pay $10,000 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights to settle potential violations of the HIPAA privacy rule. The HHS reported that the OCR completed its investigation of a complaint by a patient who alleged that the practice disclosed on social media the patient’s last name and the details of the patient’s health condition.
Health entity fined for failure to provide timely patient records
10/02/2019
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.
Prescribers can check CURES for misuse of prescription pads
09/20/2019
A dentist who writes controlled substance prescriptions can now review CURES (Controlled Substance Review Utilization 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.
Final EPA rule prohibits 'sewering' of pharmaceutical hazardous waste
09/03/2019
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.”
CDA Journal highlights dental practice safety perspectives, directions
08/28/2019
In the second of a two-issue series on dental practice safety and risk management, the September issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association features articles on infection control, X-ray exposure recommendations, medication safety, The Dental Patient Safety Foundation and Kaiser Permanente dental program’s comprehensive approach to quality and safety.
ADA files complaint with Federal Trade Commission against SmileDirectClub
08/20/2019
The American Dental Association has asked the Federal Trade Commission to “investigate false and misleading claims made by SmileDirectClub, LLC to entice consumers to purchase products and services.” The ADA is concerned specifically with SmileDirectClub’s marketing and direct-to-consumer sales of plastic teeth aligners, which it says do not follow the adequate safeguards required by law.
New safety sharps product available to dentists
08/15/2019
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.
Resources can help practices get ahead of amalgam separator requirement
08/12/2019
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.
To treat or not to treat? Unvaccinated patients create ethical dilemmas
08/08/2019
Dentists have an ethical and legal obligation to do no harm and to protect the health of their patients. But what happens when their patients put others at risk? Such is the dilemma faced by some practice owners who have called The Dentists Insurance Company’s Risk Management Advice Line with questions regarding their obligation to treat unvaccinated patients. At the core of this dilemma is the return of a disease previously believed to have been eliminated: measles.
Dentists' use of Botox requires appropriate dental treatment plan documentation
08/05/2019
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.
Surety bonds required for dentists enrolled as DMEPOS suppliers
07/22/2019
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.
CDA clarifies oral irrigants that meet state law
06/25/2019
A new law to ensure proper irrigation and disinfection of exposed pulpal tissue went into effect Jan. 1 of this year. As explained in a December 2018 Update article, the law states that water and other methods used for irrigation when performing procedures on exposed dental pulp must be “sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties.”
Scammers posing as DEA agents contact dental offices with demands
06/24/2019
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.
Pathway to California RDA license clarified in new CDA resource
06/19/2019
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.
New requirement for businesses seeking tax ID numbers
06/12/2019
Dentists who are purchasing or starting a practice or making a change to their business structure should be aware of a new IRS requirement. As of May 13, 2019, only individuals with a tax identification number — either a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number — may request an employer identification number.
Notice concerning CDA’s new poster set: Corrected California Minimum Wage notice required
06/10/2019
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.
Dentists must screen patients for measles, other ATDs, prior to providing treatment
06/03/2019
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.
Dental board’s sunset review bill includes clarifications on licensure
05/28/2019
The Dental Board of California is undergoing its sunset review in the state Legislature. In Assembly Bill 1519, authored by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, the dental board provides a status update to the Legislature and identifies opportunities for improvement. CDA has particular interest in three areas of the dental board’s sunset review bill, including clarifying how an applicant can obtain a new license after their initial license has expired.
Dispensing dentists: Warning notice required on opioid prescription labels
04/22/2019
A new state law effective Jan. 1, 2019, requires all dispensers of opioids to prominently display a notice on the prescription label or container of any prescription drug containing an opioid. The notice should be displayed by way of a flag or other notification mechanism attached to the container and must state: “Caution: Opioid. Risk of overdose and addiction.”
CDA’s 2019-20 Required Poster Set mails to practice owners in April
04/16/2019
Several state and federal agencies require dental practices to conspicuously display specific health, safety and employee rights information in the office. To help its members keep ahead of these posting requirements, CDA produces an easy-to-display poster set to reflect current regulations and compliance requirements. The 2019-20 Poster Set will be available this month and includes notices from the EDD, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and others.
'Failure to produce patient records' among most cited violations, says dental board
03/20/2019
Maintaining its focus on consumer safety, the Dental Board of California has issued an increasing number of citations in recent years. As noted in its 2018 Sunset Review Report to the California Legislature, citations increased by 36 percent in each of the previous four fiscal years. Two of the five most commonly cited violations according to the report are (1) Failure to produce patient records and (2) Failure to follow infection-control guidelines.
New laws and regulations took effect Jan. 1: Are you in compliance?
03/12/2019
Eight new or updated laws and regulations affecting dentistry and dental practice management took effect Jan. 1. To help ensure members are currently in compliance — and stay in compliance — CDA Practice Support offers summaries of the laws, including what they require and where to go for resources and support.
Prescribers can use existing controlled-substance Rx forms until January 2021
03/05/2019
A bill to address problems implementing new requirements for controlled-substance prescription forms sailed through the California Legislature and is expected to receive Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature this week. Assembly Bill 149 delays the requirement that prescribers use a new form approved by the Department of Justice as part of an earlier bill that passed last year.
CURES registration requirement also applies to current electronic prescribers
02/20/2019
Dentists who prescribe controlled substances electronically or through written prescription must be registered with CURES 2.0, California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System. The registration deadline was July 1, 2016. If not in compliance with the registration requirement, prescribers should register now.
Security risk assessment tool updated for smaller practices
02/05/2019
All HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates are required to conduct an initial comprehensive security risk assessment to identify “potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information. Small- to medium-sized health care practices with one to 10 providers now have an upgraded tool that is specifically designed to assist them with completing this assessment.
New serial number required on controlled-substances prescription forms
01/17/2019
A new state law requires that tamper-resistant prescription forms for controlled substances have unique serial numbers. These numbers will be linked to corresponding records in California’s prescription-drug monitoring program known as CURES. The requirement is part of Assembly Bill 1753 signed into law last September. New prescription forms should be ordered from a “serial # compliant printer” as indicated on the DOJ’s website.
In-office discount plans: Legal requirements and other considerations
01/03/2019
In a dental economy dominated by PPOs, dentists are looking for ways to encourage patients, particularly those with limited coverage or no coverage at all, to seek the care they need. According to the ADA, access to dental insurance is the No. 1 predictor of a dental visit due to the patient’s ability to offset their out-of-pocket expense for oral health care.
Clarification on new infection control requirement for dental pulp procedures
12/11/2018
Dentists have contacted CDA Practice Support with questions about the new infection-control requirement that all licensed dentists in California should be following as of Jan. 1, 2019. As explained in a December Update article and according to the new law, when performing procedures on exposed dental pulp, water or other methods used for irrigation must be “sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties.”
New infection control standard for procedures that expose dental pulp
11/28/2018
When performing procedures on exposed dental pulp, water or other methods used for irrigation must be “sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties,” according to a new requirement that all licensed dentists in California must follow beginning Jan. 1, 2019. CDA worked with the state Legislature to ensure the new requirement appropriately addressed the vulnerability that occurs during treatment of exposed dental pulp.
Therapy or comfort dogs may increase infection risk
11/27/2018
Hospital patients who spend more time with therapy or comfort dogs may be at increased risk of contracting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial infection that has become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections, according to an unpublished limited study.
Health care providers exempt from new state privacy law
11/26/2018
Amid frequent news from companies reporting breaches of individuals’ personal information, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to create the California Consumer Privacy Act. CCPA aims to give consumers greater control over their personal information by imposing certain obligations on entities covered by the law. CCPA takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Although 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.
Service animal, comfort animal or pet?
11/07/2018
When patients visit the dental practice of David Firestone, DDS, they are often put at ease by Rocky, a 6-year-old Maltipoo. As a regular in Dr. Firestone's practice, Rocky’s job is to greet patients and sometimes sit on welcoming laps during treatment. According to the ADA Center for Professional Success, having a companion animal correlates with improvements in a person's social, mental and physiologic status. But before dentists begin opening their doors to animals, they should keep a few things in mind.
Does the Jan. 1 Medicare deadline apply to you?
11/05/2018
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this year published a final rule revising the Medicare Advantage program (Part C) and Prescription Drug Benefit program (Part D) regulations. The final rule rescinds a previous CMS rule that required dentists who provide dental care and prescriptions for Medicare Advantage patients and Part D beneficiaries to be enrolled in Medicare or to have opted out in order for their services to be covered.
New opioid laws will affect dentistry in 2019 and beyond
10/31/2018
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.
Are your patients who they say they are? Preventing medical identity theft
10/22/2018
A dental professional can treat dozens of patients each day. Patients present, provide their information, get checked in and proceed with treatment. Do you ever stop to wonder whether your patients are who they say they are? In a case reported to The Dentist Insurance Company’s Risk Management Advice Line, a patient presented for a root canal treatment.
Dental hygiene regulatory entity becomes board in 2018 sunset review
10/15/2018
This year, the Dental Hygiene Committee of California underwent its second sunset review, which was signed into law Sept. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown, extending the committee’s regulatory authority until Jan. 1, 2023. The DHCC underwent two major changes during the sunset review. In addition to a formal name change to the Dental Hygiene Board of California, the DHCC will no longer be officially under the jurisdiction of the dental board.
Rules for storing and disposing of controlled substances
09/24/2018
A dentist who stores controlled substances must follow both state and federal rules for storage, inventory and disposal of those drugs. DEA registration is required for each address where a dentist stores controlled substances.
Mandatory CURES consultation in effect Oct. 2
09/19/2018
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.
How to start prescribing controlled substances electronically
09/12/2018
Electronic data prescribing can reduce opportunities for diversion of controlled substances by eliminating the use of paper forms that can be stolen, lost or left behind and used illegally. Use of e-prescribing for controlled substances is growing nationally due to state mandates and prescribers’ increasing comfort with technology. Here is how to get started.
Free lectures at The Spot cover regulatory compliance, employment law and more
08/14/2018
This September at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco, The Spot Educational Theater will host free one-hour lectures nearly every hour on the hour beginning at 10 a.m. all three days of the convention. Among the scheduled lecturers are CDA Practice Support’s four analysts who provide expert guidance in the areas of dental benefits, employment practices, practice management and regulatory compliance.
Proposition 65 notice requirement takes effect in August
08/08/2018
No later than Aug. 30, 2018, dental practices that employ 10 or more employees must post at the entrance of the office the new Proposition 65 warning notice, unless the practice chooses instead to provide a warning with an informed consent form. The form must be signed by the patient prior to exposure to the chemicals regulated by Proposition 65.
New FDA webpage addresses infection control in dental unit waterlines
07/23/2018
A webpage published recently by the Food and Drug Administration provides guidance on infection control in dental unit waterlines. Although they typically cannot be sterilized, dental unit waterlines “should be routinely cleaned and disinfected” to prevent risk of infection to patients, “particularly during surgical procedures by direct exposure of waterborne pathogens.” The webpage provides more than a dozen “do’s and don’ts” for dental practitioners.
July 19 webinar will address the opioid crisis, prescribing trends
07/16/2018
A free lunchtime webinar on Thursday, July 19, will examine the current state of the nation’s opioid crisis, including deaths from prescription and illicit opioids, prescribing trends and some of the efforts being made to address the crisis. The one-hour webinar is hosted by the ADA and presented by Dr. Scott Winiecki, team lead for the Food and Drug Administration’s Safe Use Initiative.
HIPAA violation affects 3K patients, nurse suspended
07/09/2018
The recent license suspension of a former University of Rochester Medical Center nurse for violating the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act is a reminder to HIPAA-covered dental practice owners and associate dentists of their requirements under HIPAA’s Privacy Rule. A Rochester, New York, newspaper reported in June that the nurse gave to her new employer spreadsheets containing personally identifiable information of about 3,000 patients without the patients’ permission.
CDC addresses reprocessing of dental handpieces
06/26/2018
CDA Practice Support often receives calls from members who have questions about reprocessing dental handpieces, which as medical devices are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Recognizing the dental community’s need for clear and consistent guidance on this subject, the Centers for Disease Control recently issued a statement pointing to its current recommendations.
Phone scam targets California dental practice
06/25/2018
In a scam reported as early as February that appears to be ongoing, criminals are posing as Pacific Gas and Electric Co. representatives who either demand immediate payment of utility bills they claim are past due or attempt to cross-sell products and services, such as solar power. Initially centered in the San Francisco Bay Area, the fraudulent calls have now reached most of the state.
Experts help CDA members navigate the business side of dentistry
06/14/2018
Four experienced CDA Practice Support analysts are available to assist members with matters related to dental benefit plans, employment law and human resources, regulatory compliance and practice management. These specialized experts provide one-on-one guidance by email and phone and speak on timely topics at CDA’s biannual education convention. Together they’ve developed a full library of online resources that they expand upon and update throughout the year.
CDA-supported bills modify opioid prescribing, CURES requirements
06/07/2018
At least 130 bills to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic have been introduced in U.S. Congress since January, and California is mounting its own legislative efforts to curb opioid abuse. CDA has identified 19 bills in the current session that can be classified into five main categories of opioid legislation. Among these, CDA is taking an official support position on five bills and a support if amended position on a sixth. A summary of the bills and how they may impact the way dentists practice and prescribe follows.
CDA objects to dental hygiene committee policy proposals in sunset review
05/28/2018
The Dental Hygiene Committee of California is undergoing its 2017–18 “sunset review” — an evaluation by the Legislature to assess the DHCC’s performance and determine whether it should continue to exist and, if so, whether it should be modified. In a letter to Sen. Jerry Hill, CDA recognized the DHCC’s substantial work on its 2018 sunset review package before moving on to outline its objections to five policy recommendations.
Completion of 2017 Economic Census required
05/22/2018
CDA has learned that the U.S. Census Bureau has contacted some dental practices asking that they complete the 2017 Economic Census. Any business that receives the letter is required by law to electronically provide the requested information according to the letter’s instructions. Failure to submit information may lead to a penalty of up to $5,000.
RDA written and RDA law and ethics exams to be combined
04/30/2018
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.”
Mandatory checks in CURES take effect Oct. 2
04/19/2018
The Department of Justice 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.
Pharmacies continue to reject prescriptions due to noncompliant forms
04/18/2018
CDA continues to receive calls from dentists who report that pharmacies are rejecting the controlled substances prescriptions they write for patients. As CDA first reported last November, prescriptions for schedule II-V drugs must contain 14 preprinted elements and must be written on tamper-resistant forms produced by security-prescription printer companies licensed and approved by the California Department of Justice. But a recent DOJ audit of the licensed security printers identified four printers that are still printing noncompliant forms.
Legislation, CDA Presents lecture, address prescription opioid abuse and CURES
04/16/2018
On the legislative front, in California alone, more than two dozen bills that address opioid prescription and misuse are working their way through the Legislature, including several by Assemblymember Jim Wood, DDS. Meanwhile, CDA continues to provide education and resources on opioid prescribing to members and dentists throughout California. In May at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim, CDA Public Affairs will host “Clinical and Legal Considerations for Prescribing Controlled Substances.”
ADA advances national policy to reduce opioid dependency
03/28/2018
The ADA on March 26 adopted a new policy to combat the opioid epidemic, calling it the potential first of its kind by a major health professional organization to support mandates on opioid prescription limits and continuing education. “I call upon dentists everywhere to double down on their efforts to prevent opioids from harming our patients and their families,” said ADA President Joseph P. Crowley, DDS, in a press release. The Interim Board Policy on Opioid Prescribing addresses continuing education, dosage and duration, and prescription and drug monitoring.
Callers seek fraudulent access to sensitive practice information
03/26/2018
Dental practices are reporting to Henry Schein Practice Solutions that they have received calls from an individual posing as a company employee who then asks for remote access to the office servers. Such calls are a type of phishing scam, whereby scammers pretend to be key personnel or set up look-alike websites and emails to fool individuals into providing sensitive information such as passwords, patient account numbers or Social Security numbers. With this information, scammers can then steal information and profit from its sale.
Updated Legal Reference Guide for California Dentists features all-CDA content
02/26/2018
In their day-to-day practice, dentists and their teams must know and comply with federal, state and local laws — from the layered requirements of federal and state employment laws to the dentistry-specific California Dental Practice Act to local laws that enforce building codes. A first resource for dentists to help them navigate these laws is the Legal Reference Guide for California Dentists, updated and published in January by the CDA Practice Support experts.
Dentists with DEA numbers must be registered with CURES 2.0
02/21/2018
“All health care practitioners authorized to prescribe or dispense Schedule II-IV controlled substances were required to register to use CURES 2.0 no later than July 1, 2016,” the Dental Board of California reminds dentists in an email distributed late January. California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System aids prescribers and dispensers in identifying fraudulent activity and is intended to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion.
Protecting your practice from cyber threats
02/15/2018
What do Anthem, Yahoo, LinkedIn and JP Morgan Chase have in common? If you guessed that they were all victims of some of the world’s largest data breaches, you’d be correct. From insurance carriers to retailers, financial institutions to the U.S. military, all organizations that have an online presence are subject to cyber-related risks and the reputational damage and loss of consumer trust that follow.
New infection control standard applies to treating exposed dental pulp
02/07/2018
An emergency regulation soon to be adopted by the Dental Board of California amends the minimum standards for infection control to require that water or other methods used for irrigation be sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties when treating exposed dental pulp. All individuals licensed to practice dentistry in California will be required to follow the new infection control standard.
CDC app helps dental teams monitor infection prevention efforts
01/25/2018
A free mobile app by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can assist dental facilities in monitoring their compliance with recommended infection control practices. The CDC DentalCheck app automates an infection prevention checklist and allows dental health care providers to “easily move throughout the practice as they evaluate their compliance with recommended infection prevention practices.”
FDA bans active ingredients from nonprescription antiseptic products
01/24/2018
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.
Dentist seeks guidance when patient's cognitive health becomes a factor
01/11/2018
Throughout the business week, CDA Practice Support experts answer questions submitted by members via the “Ask an Expert” feature. Staff then answer and archive the question online for the benefit of other members. But occasionally, a question or the recurrence of questions along the same theme prompts the need for a deeper probe. In one such question, a dentist expressed concern about a patient’s cognitive health — and with whom she was allowed to discuss it.
Updates to 2017-18 Required Poster Set
12/20/2017
Regulatory changes have occurred since the printing of the 2017-18 CDA Required Poster Set. As of December 2017 the three changes are: an updated Wage Order 4-2001 to reflect increases in the state minimum wage; a “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster that must be posted beginning Jan. 1, 2018; and an updated “Safety and Health Protection on the Job” notice.
Practical examination no longer a requirement for RDA licensure
12/19/2017
After years of low pass rates on the RDA practical examination, a professional analysis that raised questions of exam validity and reliability, and a temporary exam suspension, the Dental Board of California decided to permanently eliminate the practical examination as a requirement for RDA licensure.
Current registrations and safety certificates required of X-ray machine owners, operators
12/18/2017
With the recent increase in X-ray machine registration fees, CDA reminds members to ensure their registrations are up to date. CDA Regulatory Compliance Analyst Teresa Pichay cites recent calls from dentists who were surprised to receive past-due bills for registration fees dating as far back as eight years, and she cautions dentists that “not receiving a bill does not exempt a facility with X-ray equipment from paying the registration fees.”
Check the dates on your required poster set
12/05/2017
As a member benefit, CDA Practice Support offers an easy-to-display poster set that contains all the latest health, safety and employee rights information practice owners need to post to comply with state and federal agency regulations.
Resources for dentists as opioid crisis declared public health emergency
11/13/2017
With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 26 declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency, CDA reminds dentists, who prescribe approximately 11 percent of prescription opioids annually, of the resources available to them. CDA’s online opioid resource guide at cda.org/opioid is regularly updated with links to resources as they are published.
Pharmacies are rejecting prescriptions due to noncompliant forms
11/10/2017
Dentists have reported to CDA that pharmacies have rejected their prescriptions due either to forms that are out of date or are missing required elements. All prescriptions have been for controlled substances, which must be on tamper-resistant forms printed by California-approved printers and containing California-specific pre-printed elements.
Dental anesthesia safety: Say something if you see something
11/09/2017
At the recent CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry convention in San Francisco, Steve Yun, MD, provided an enlightening and practical examination of dental anesthesia and patient safety in his course Myths and Errors in Dental Anesthesia: Avoiding Office Disasters. In this interview, Yun shares his top tips for enhancing patient safety during dental anesthesia.
All employers required to e-file and e-pay with EDD in the new year
11/01/2017
Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, employers of every size will be required to register with the Employment Development Department’s e-Services for Business and file all wage reports and employment tax returns and pay all contributions for unemployment insurance premiums electronically. The electronic filing requirements of Assembly Bill 1245 are intended to increase the accuracy and security of data and improve the processing speed of returns and payments.
Medical consultation versus clearance: A critical distinction for dentists
10/31/2017
CDA Practice Support and The Dentists Insurance Company are receiving an increasing number of calls from members on the subject of obtaining medical clearance for patients who have certain chronic conditions such as diabetes or are undergoing certain therapies. TDIC warns dentists that the medical clearance process is misleading because it implies that the patient is “cleared” for treatment.
CVS Health expands fight against opioid abuse
10/25/2017
CVS Health launched a new initiative in September to help fight the national opioid abuse epidemic by enhancing opioid utilization management, providing drug disposal kiosks nationwide and aiding local communities in treatment and recovery services. The president and CEO of CVS Health said in a news release that addressing the nation’s opioid crisis calls for a multipronged effort involving many health care stakeholders, including dentists.
Infection control standards updated in new law
10/18/2017
Assembly Bill 1277 sets a new standard for infection control that requires dentists to use sterile water or a disinfecting or antibacterial agent when irrigating exposed dental pulp and directs the Dental Board of California to codify these requirements in its infection control regulations. CDA supported the legislation.
Policy statement on opioid abuse adopted by dental board
10/10/2017
In California alone, opioid-related deaths from 2002 to 2014 were up almost 30 percent, and dentists prescribe up to 12 percent of all opioid prescriptions in the U.S. In light of these alarming statistics, the Dental Board of California in August 2017 finalized and adopted a policy statement recognizing the epidemic of opioid abuse in the U.S.
Dental board licensure fee increases to take effect Oct. 19
10/04/2017
The Dental Board of California on Oct. 19, 2017, will implement a new set of fee increases to licentiates. These fee increases were approved by the state Office of Administrative Law Aug. 24, 2017, and their implementation comes ahead of the date previously reported.
Planning made easy with C.E. course calendar
09/26/2017
CDA provides an online continuing education course calendar that includes pages of course offerings for dentists who want to enhance their practice and professional development or simply need credits for license renewal.
Know your compliance dates
09/25/2017
In one handy place, CDA members can find the details, deadlines and resources they need to ensure their practice complies with upcoming laws and regulations. Check out “Are You in Compliance?” on the CDA Practice Support homepage.
Updated amalgam separator Q&A addresses tenant-landlord responsibility
09/19/2017
Dentists who share a building with other dental practices are contacting CDA Practice Support to inquire about their obligations under the Environmental Protection Agency’s amalgam separator requirement, which took effect July 14, 2017. The amalgam separator is designed to remove mercury and other metals entering the waste stream from dental practices.
Informed consent: More than just a form
09/18/2017
A common allegation in many professional liability claims is the lack of informed consent. Patients argue that had they known about the possibility of complications, they would have made a different decision regarding their dental treatment. One of the best ways dentists can protect themselves in these cases is by ensuring patients are armed with the facts needed to make informed decisions.
RDA practical exam suspended, licensure will continue
08/08/2017
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, signed AB 1707 (Low, D-Silicon Valley) into law, which authorizes the Dental Board of California to resume issuing new RDA licenses and to extend the suspension of the RDA practical examination. AB 1707 contains an urgency clause, which makes the legislation effective now, rather than in 2018.
X-ray machine registration and other fees to increase Sept. 1
08/08/2017
Radiologic Health Branch fees are due to increase 26.76 percent Sept. 1, 2017, under the Budget Act of 2016, Chapter 23, in accordance with California Health and Safety Code section 100425. Five fee types are increasing, including registration of reportable sources of radiation renewal and certification in radiologic technology or nuclear medicine technology application.
Top five: Spotlight on CDA Practice Support resources
07/27/2017
In addition to advice from experts on the business side of dentistry, CDA Practice Support provides a full online library of articles, guides, templates and tools. Check out five of the most popular resources this quarter and see how they can help make running your practice easier and more efficient.
CURES 'red flags' covered in San Francisco course
07/18/2017
Dentists prescribe approximately 11 percent of prescription opioids annually in the U.S. With this in mind, CDA Public Affairs is sponsoring a course to be held at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco this August that will help dental professionals understand their role in drug diversion programs, including the use of California’s prescription drug monitoring program known as CURES.
Guidance on website accessibility added to AwDA resource
07/12/2017
CDA’s regulatory compliance experts are receiving calls from members who are concerned about how compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act might extend to website accessibility. Dentists have questions about whether their practice websites are compliant with AwDA. In response, CDA Practice Support added a section on website accessibility to its AwDA-related resource.
CURES fee exemption available for some dentists
06/22/2017
California prescribers who are registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to prescribe, dispense or administer controlled substances must also register to access the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, CURES. A $6 annual ($12 biennial) fee is assessed with licensure renewal in order to maintain the database.
EPA rule requiring amalgam separators takes effect July 14
06/15/2017
Following a six-month delay, the Environmental Protection Agency on June 14 published a final rule under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream from dental practices. The rule regulates dental practices that place or remove amalgam.
Practices may be required to change restroom signage
06/14/2017
Effective March 1, 2017, all single-occupancy restrooms in any business establishment, place of public accommodation or government agency must be identified as "all gender" and be universally accessible. The Equal Restroom Access Act applies to toilet facilities with no more than one water closet and one urinal and with a locking mechanism controlled by the user. Employers and practice owners should change signage used for single-user restrooms to comply with the law.
Proposition 65 resource updated for member compliance
05/31/2017
Well ahead of the compliance deadline, CDA has updated its Proposition 65 resources to include the dental-specific notice that many dental practices (as well as dental schools and laboratories) will need to post at the entrance of the dental office by Aug. 30, 2018, unless the practice chooses instead to provide a warning with an informed consent form to be signed by the patient prior to exposure.
Well-stocked emergency medical kits can help mitigate risk
05/25/2017
Emergency preparedness can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Well-trained staff and clear emergency protocols are essential, as are regularly performed drills to ensure expediency should an emergency occur. But one of the simplest ways to prevent an emergency from becoming a tragedy is a well-stocked and up-to-date emergency kit.
A to Z: CDA Practice Support resources are easy to find
05/24/2017
Members can rely on CDA Practice Support for assistance in navigating the business side of dentistry with ease. Toward this goal, Practice Support experts in the areas of dental benefits, regulatory compliance, practice management, human resources and employment law work throughout the year to draft, update and publish resources that currently number over 400. Locating these resources on cda.org is easy.
Practices required to post updated Wage Order 4
05/17/2017
As a best practice, all California practice owners or employers should know the applicable wage order for their business and employees along with the regulations contained in it. Dental practices typically fall under Wage Order 4 — specifically, Order No. 4-2001. The California Department of Industrial Relations updated Wage Order 4-2001 to reflect the 2017 and 2018 increases in the state minimum wage and also updated meal and lodging credit amounts.
Bill updates standards for infection control
05/02/2017
Making its way through the state Capitol is a key piece of legislation that, if passed, would improve infection control safety in dentistry. Assembly Bill 1277 calls for the Dental Board of California to amend the regulations on the minimum standards for infection control for certain dental procedures that expose the dental pulp and may create an opportunity for infection. CDA has taken a “support” position on the bill.
Posting 'Notice of Privacy Practices' easier with new format
04/19/2017
A new format for the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices is now available for download on the CDA Practice Support website. The new "layered" notice allows a dental practice to post only one page, instead of all pages, of the notice on the wall of the practice's reception area while making the entire notice available elsewhere in the reception area.
Course helps dentists respond to opioid abuse epidemic
04/18/2017
Dentists prescribe approximately 11 percent of prescription opioids annually in the U.S. A course at CDA Presents in Anaheim will help dental professionals understand the ever-growing problem of prescription drug abuse and dentists' role in drug diversion programs, including the use of California's prescription drug monitoring program known as CURES, Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System.
Get answers from Practice Support experts at CDA Presents
04/14/2017
Addressing patients’ clinical needs is what every dentist is taught in dental school. What a dentist is not taught is how to run a small business with employees and how to navigate patients’ benefit plans. CDA Practice Support experts will be on-site at CDA Presents Anaheim, at the Member Benefits Center, to answer members’ questions about dental benefits, employment and regulatory issues. Additionally, each expert will present a free one-hour lecture at The Spot Educational Theater. Topics include the dental benefits grievance process, HIPAA compliance essentials and lesser known employment laws.
Protected health information at risk, FBI warns
04/04/2017
The FBI in a private industry notification warned health care providers that cybercriminals are actively targeting File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers "operating in ‘anonymous’ mode and associated with medical and dental facilities to access protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information in order to intimidate, harass and blackmail business owners."
New poster sets to stay ahead of labor law requirements
03/30/2017
Many dentists manage risks in areas beyond clinical care. A telling example is the requirement for all employers to post workplace labor law notices, since failure to comply in this area alone can result in substantial fines. To assist members in the business ownership side of practice, CDA prints a full set of required posters every two years. The 2017-18 set is now available for distribution.
CDA Journal focuses on regulatory issues in dentistry
03/29/2017
The April issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association focuses on regulatory issues in dentistry. Articles include a review of California infection control regulations for dental professionals and methods for ensuring every dental office is in compliance; a discussion of inspections of X-ray use in dental practices and common regulatory violations; and an explanation of the investigation process that can occur before a disciplinary proceeding (accusation) is filed.
CDA updates guide to the California Dental Practice Act
03/22/2017
“Your Guide to California Dental Practice Act Compliance” was updated in January 2017 to reflect new laws concerning adverse event reporting, scope of practice, required language in the anesthesia informed consent form, online advertising through Groupon, notice of licensure, prescriber dispensing of controlled substances and several other areas of practice.
CDA offers new CURES and opioid resource guide
03/20/2017
CDA has created a new online resource guide to help dentists meet requirements and follow best practices when prescribing opioids for the treatment of patients' dental pain. This resource is CDA's latest in ongoing efforts to address and combat California's opioid epidemic and ensure members have the most up-to-date information to maintain compliance in the dental practice.
Online-based practices are the way of the near future
02/24/2017
Technology is advancing quickly here in the 21st century. As a result, dentists should take steps to upgrade the technological capabilities of their practices with internet access, up-to-date software and computers or they could be left behind. Without an ability to get online, or without the most up-to-date software, some regulatory resources are impossible or difficult to use.
App helps dental teams monitor infection prevention efforts
02/09/2017
A new mobile app released in mid-January by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can assist dental facilities in monitoring their compliance with recommended infection control practices. The CDC DentalCheck app can be used to ensure adequate supplies and appropriate infection prevention policies are in place, such as proper training and education of staff.
CURES 1.0 not available after March 5
02/08/2017
CURES 1.0 will be discontinued on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The departments of Consumer Affairs and Justice have announced that beginning March 6 prescribing health care practitioners will only be able to access CURES 2.0. To securely access CURES 2.0, dentists will need to update their web browsers as specified.
Requirements for maintaining dental water lines
02/07/2017
The ordered closure in mid-December of a children’s dental clinic in Southern California reminds dental practices of the importance of cleaning and maintaining dental unit water lines for the safety of patients. CDA urges dentists to ensure they are following the Dental Board of California’s current requirements along with CDC recommendations.
Presidential order freezes amalgam separator rule
02/06/2017
The Environmental Protection Agency’s anticipated rule requiring that dental practices install amalgam separators and implement best practices to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream has been delayed following the Trump administration’s freeze on all proposed or pending federal regulations.
Top trending CDA Practice Support resources
01/24/2017
Here are the top-five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance. Featured are the “Exempt Employee Sample Offer Letter,” “Effective External Marketing Strategies Checklist” and more.
All 2016 HIPAA breaches must be reported to HHS
01/11/2017
HIPAA-covered entities that experienced a breach of protected health information in 2016 are required to notify the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, regardless of the size of the breach. An entity’s reporting obligations will depend on whether the breach incident affected fewer than 500 individuals or 500 or more individuals.
FDA bans use of powdered gloves in health care
01/09/2017
Dentists, physicians and other health care professionals will no longer be allowed to use powdered gloves when treating patients, per a rule finalized Dec. 16 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The rule was first proposed in March 2016 and takes effect Jan. 18.
'Are you in compliance' with 2016 laws and regulations?
12/22/2016
From displaying California's Whistleblower Protection notice to registering with CURES 2.0, dental practices were to comply with 12 laws and regulations that took effect in 2016. Presented here are summaries of these new laws and regulations along with explanations of what dentists must do to comply with them.
EPA issues final rule: Amalgam separators required
12/15/2016

The administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on a final rule under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream from dental practices. The rule will regulate dental practices that place or remove amalgam. The effective date of the rule is 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.

Completed Assurance of Compliance form required
12/08/2016
Dental practices that are required to comply with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act must complete and submit to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the Assurance of Compliance form. HHS 690 can be downloaded, completed and mailed or completed and submitted online.
EPA's final rule on amalgam separators expected soon
11/29/2016
The Environmental Protection Agency in October 2014 issued a draft rule under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream from dental practices. The final rule, which may become effective as early as December 2016, will regulate dental practices that place or remove amalgam.
OCR's new FAQ addresses business associates' use of PHI
11/21/2016
A new FAQ from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights clarifies that a business associate cannot prevent a HIPAA-covered entity’s access to protected health information maintained by the business associate (for or on behalf of the covered entity) unless provided for within a contract.
Ensure compliance with OCR's final rule on Section 1557
11/03/2016
Dentists participating as providers in the Denti-Cal program, along with provider entities who have received “meaningful use” funding from HHS and those dentists who participate as Medicare Part C plan providers, should be fully complying with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights’ final rule concerning Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
Proposition 65 notice requirements revised
11/02/2016
The California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has adopted a regulation revising the notices that dental practices are required to post under Proposition 65, known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The regulation takes effect in 2018.
'Meaningful use' funds must be claimed by Dec. 31
10/31/2016
Under the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, participating Denti-Cal providers may receive up to $63,750 in incentive payments for implementing an electronic health record system and eventually achieving “meaningful use.” The program will close to new registrants on Dec. 31, and any dentist who has not started in the incentive program will lose the opportunity to claim those dollars.
Top trending CDA Practice Support resources
10/11/2016
Here are the top-five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
Gov. Brown signs CDA-sponsored loan repayment bill
10/06/2016
In the final weeks of the state’s 2016 legislative session, Gov. Brown signed into law several bills that impact dentists, including CDA-sponsored Assembly Bill 2485 (Santiago, D-Los Angeles). Taking effect immediately as an urgency statute, AB 2485, the Dental Corps Loan Repayment Program, revises in the applicant’s favor provisions regarding program eligibility, application, selection and placement.
Dental board email address requirement in effect
10/05/2016
Under a new law, all applicants licensed by the Dental Board of California are required to submit their email address to the board effective July 1. The board plans to contact licensed dentists annually to confirm that their email addresses on file are correct.
Dental anesthesia bill heads to governor
09/16/2016
A bill (AB 2235) requiring the Dental Board of California to review the safety of pediatric dental anesthesia has been passed by the Legislature and is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The legislation stems from last year’s tragic death of a boy who received dental treatment under general anesthesia.
'Are You in Compliance?' Use new resource to track key dates
09/14/2016
Now, in one handy place, CDA members can find the details, deadlines and resources they need to ensure their dental practice is in compliance with upcoming laws and regulations. On the main Practice Support webpage, the new “Are You in Compliance” section lists laws and regulations that dental practices will need to comply with.
Civil rights rule compliance required by Oct. 16
09/06/2016
CDA has developed California-specific resources to assist dentists in meeting the Oct. 16 deadline for compliance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights’ final rule concerning Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
HIPAA-required risk analysis can prevent malware attacks
08/30/2016
CDA has fielded calls recently from dental practices wishing to learn more about the risk analysis required of all entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Coincidentally, in response to the rapid rise of ransomware attacks, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights in July issued new guidance for health care providers.
Ransomware attacks may be reportable, OCR guidance clarifies
08/24/2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights released new guidance to help health care providers better understand the malicious software and the steps required to help prevent, detect and respond to attacks.
Prescription drug abuse lecture at CDA Presents
08/18/2016
A lecture will be held at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco to help dentists navigate the professional responsibilities and regulatory requirements of pain management and opioid diversion.
Top trending CDA Practice Support resources
08/08/2016
Below are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
Protect your practice from cyberattacks
07/27/2016
Organizations of all types and sizes are vulnerable to cyberattacks. The fraudsters that perpetrate these crimes do not discriminate, and they are becoming increasingly organized and sophisticated.
CURES: mandatory check proposed
07/27/2016
A check of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program may become mandatory under a proposed bill requiring prescribers, including dentists with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration registrations, to check the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System when writing a prescription for Schedule II-IV medications.
What a hygienist can do while the dentist is away
07/26/2016
CDA Practice Support has seen an increase in the number of calls about the duties a registered dental hygienist can perform while the owner dentist is out of the office.
Infection control reminders for dental offices
07/18/2016
There are a number of actions taken every day for every patient receiving care in a dental office. Below are reminders for four infection control procedures that are easily misunderstood, what can happen and how to prevent repeating mistakes.
Provider directory law in effect Friday
06/29/2016
Effective July 1, a new law requires dental plans to comply with uniform standards and provide timely updates — including changes in practice address, license number, etc. — to their provider directories. The intent of the new law, SB 137, is to provide patients with more accurate and complete information regarding providers participating in the plan’s provider network.
HIPAA audits to expand in 2017
06/28/2016
In May, several thousand HIPAA-covered entities received emails from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) as the agency rolled out Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program. One email asked covered entities to confirm contact information, then, if information was confirmed, covered entities received a questionnaire and were given 30 days to complete it.
Top trending CDA Practice Support resources
06/24/2016

CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, and it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Check out the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.

First USC dental student completes licensure by portfolio
06/23/2016
The first dental student at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has completed the licensure by portfolio process. Alexandra Chamberlain, DDS, completed the school's Certification of Clinical Experiences for licensure through portfolio by passing seven clinical competency examinations.
CURES webinar recording now available
06/06/2016
CDA recently hosted a webinar, presented by the Department of Justice, to assist member dentists with the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES 2.0) registration process and any questions they may have regarding the new system.
Dentists required to post BPA notice
06/01/2016
Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical present during the application of some composite fillings and sealants, has been added to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
CURES registration deadline July 1
05/27/2016
All prescribers in California with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration registrations are required to register by July 1 to access California’s prescription drug monitoring program, known as CURES 2.0 (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System).
Recent settlements highlight importance of HIPAA compliance
05/26/2016
The federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued two fines and corrective action plans against covered entities for HIPAA violations. On April 20, 2016, OCR issued a press release stating that it had issued a fine of $750,000 against Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic of North Carolina (Raleigh) for failing to have a business associate agreement in place with a service provider to which it disclosed protected health information (PHI).
Top trending CDA Practice Support resources
05/20/2016
Below are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
CURES webinar offers important registration tips
05/18/2016
CDA is hosting a webinar, presented by the Department of Justice, on May 25 to assist member dentists with the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES 2.0) registration process and any questions they may have regarding the new system.
Time to register for CURES
04/21/2016
All prescribers in California with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrations are required to register by July 1 to access California’s prescription drug monitoring program, known as CURES 2.0 (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System). Additionally, prescribers must have updated browsers to access the system.
Physical thefts threaten patient health information
04/20/2016
More than half of the data breaches in health care settings are a result of devices being physically stolen from a practice, car, home or elsewhere. Data breaches can result in big costs for dentists who fall victim to such a breach should unencrypted patient health information be stolen.
CDC releases new infection control resource
04/13/2016
Minimizing exposures to infectious agents should be a primary objective in a dental office for the sake of the staff and patients. To help provide guidance on this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a resource to further prevent infections in dental practices.
HHS initiates HIPAA audits
04/06/2016
Dental practices should not ignore any email from the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) as the agency announced that it has started the next phase of audits of HIPAA covered entities and business associates. The emails have been sent to verify contact information.
Hazard communication compliance deadline near
03/22/2016
The final deadline for compliance with the hazard communication regulation is June 1. The deadline marks the end of an almost three-year process to bring employers and product manufacturers and distributors in line with a global system of chemical labeling and classification.
You're registered with CURES - now what?
03/08/2016
All prescribers in California with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrations are required to register by July 1 to access California's prescription drug monitoring program, known as CURES 2.0 (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System). Here are some common questions and answers for dentists related to the use of CURES.
A dentist's role in reporting child, elder abuse
03/02/2016
Abuse represents a spectrum of behavior. It is repetitive in nature and fatal abuse is often preceded by minor manifestations of maltreatment, which could be overlooked by dentists and their staff. Under California law, each person licensed by the Dental Board of California and Dental Hygiene Committee of California is a “mandated reporter” for known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child, elder or dependent adult and incidents of violence.
Dentists required to translate directions for dispensed drugs
02/24/2016
Patients may request that the directions on the label of dispensed medication be translated. A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1 now requires that dentists who dispense medication oblige such requests if translated directions are available.
Licensure renewal mailing contains incorrect information
02/19/2016
Licensure renewal notices recently mailed by the Dental Board of California to dentists who need to renew their license provided the incorrect web address for online renewal. The new BreEZe online license renewal website is accessed at www.breeze.ca.gov, rather than the website provided in the notice.
State updates rule on portable X-ray equipment
02/18/2016
The California Department of Public Health recently clarified rules related to the use of portable radiograph equipment, permitting its use when the following four conditions are met. Compliance with the following provisions will be evaluated during inspections conducted by departmental personnel.
Dentists warned of waste management misinformation
02/10/2016
CDA has learned from members and a state agency that  dentists have been contacted by a national waste management service company  that is providing misinformation about regulatory requirements. The calls claim that dentists must register with the  California Department of Public Health as a "hazardous waste generator," or  that dental practices must comply with "new" regulations specifically for  pharmaceutical waste.
Providing sign language in dental practices
02/08/2016
It is a question asked regularly of CDA Practice Support analysts — under what circumstances does a dental practice need to provide a sign language interpreter for a patient? The CDA Practice Support resource titled Americans with Disabilities Act and Disability Rights Laws offers valuable information about accommodations that dental practices are obligated to provide under the law.
Handle Social Security numbers and driver's licenses carefully
02/04/2016
There are a number of reasons that dental practices collect patient Social Security numbers and copies of their driver’s licenses. Whether it is to confirm the identity of a new patient, confirm the patient’s eligibility, especially for government benefit programs, or because the practice is extending credit to the patient (allowing the patient to pay for treatment over time), dental practices should be sure to explain to their patients why the information is needed and how it will be kept safe.
ADA hosts opioid prescribing webinar series
02/02/2016
The ADA's Center for Dental Practice's Opioid Prescribing and Abuse Prevention webinar series is back with its first webinar: "Federal and State Policy Efforts to Prevent Prescription Opioid Diversion." This webinar will provide an overview of federal and state policies developed to reduce the transfer of prescription opioid medications from legitimate practice and patient use to illicit use contributing to public health harms.
Practices must display two new posters
01/27/2016
Dentists need to be aware that there are two new posters that must be printed and posted in their dental offices. The orange and gray set of required posters, which are printed by CDA and provided by local component dental societies, was published and distributed to members in May 2015. However, for 2016, there have been updates that need to be incorporated into the existing poster sets until new poster sets are available in the spring of 2017.
Handle patient record requests the right way
01/26/2016
When a patient requests copies of his or her dental records, there are steps every dental practice should take to ensure that the request is handled properly, even when someone other than the patient requests the records. CDA Practice Support’s resource Access to Patient Records FAQ contains important information for practices to know about patient record requests and adhering to privacy regulations as outlined in HIPAA.
CURES 2.0 enrollment now open to dentists
01/13/2016
All dentists who are authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish or dispense controlled substances must register in the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) by July 1 and have updated browsers to access the system. Dispensed controlled substance prescriptions are recorded in CURES, which allows prescribers to look up a patient's controlled substance current usage and past history.
New online licensure renewal system goes live Jan. 19
01/12/2016
The scheduled "go-live" date for the new online license renewal system known as BreEZe is Jan. 19. The BreEZe system (breeze.ca.gov) allows dental professionals to apply for or renew their licenses online, pay with a credit card, track the status of an application or licensing request, submit address changes and obtain proof of license status. BreEZe also enables consumers to verify a professional license and file consumer complaints.
ADA guide to substance use disorders available
12/22/2015
The ADA has published a new guide designed to assist dental practitioners in dealing with complicated pain/sedation management and opioid abuse issues. The ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing also addresses regulations dentists must follow regarding the storage and recordkeeping of controlled substances.
Top 10 CDA Practice Support resources in 2015
12/04/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, and it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top 10 CDA Practice Support resources of 2015 in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
Dental board urges immediate action on license renewal
12/02/2015
The Dental Board of California and the Department of Consumer Affairs have launched a campaign to reach dentists and registered dental assistants whose licenses expire in January 2016, and urge them to renew their professional licenses as soon as possible. This comes as a result of the transition to a new online licensure renewal system known as BreEZe.
Drug monitoring programs help patients and dentists
11/30/2015
In 2013, more than 137 million prescriptions of hydrocodone were dispensed in the U.S. Unfortunately, these drugs are also the most addictive and potentially deadly of prescription drugs. In the midst of intensified focus on opioid analgesics and rising abuse rates, public health agencies and government regulators are responding, and thoughtful, evidence-based prescribing is a necessity. With such an important and prominent issue, The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC) offers advice to dentists.
Data breach notice requirements changing in January
10/30/2015
California’s data breach notification law will undergo amendments effective Jan. 1, 2016. Specifically, new state legislation, SB 570, requires changes to the format of a breach notification notice. CDA has compiled a summary of the changes dentists should be aware of.
Online license renewal begins early next year
10/20/2015
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is anticipating the launch of a new computer licensing system for dentists, hygienists and assistants in January. Known as the BreEZe system, it will allow dental professionals to apply for or renew their licenses online, pay with a credit card, track the status of an application or licensing request, submit address changes and obtain proof of license status. BreEZe also enables consumers to verify a professional license and file consumer complaints.
CURES enrollment deadline moved to July 1
10/19/2015
The CURES enrollment deadline for providers has officially been pushed back from Jan. 1 to July 1 of 2016. The change comes after the governor signed AB 679 (Allen). The bill was amended late in the legislative session due to concern that the most recent Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) update has fallen behind schedule. The CURES 2.0 was planned to be in use by July 1 of this year, yet the system is still not fully operational. The delay will give the Department of Justice (DOJ) time to finalize CURES 2.0 and for providers to enroll.
Top CDA Practice Support resources in October
10/13/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, and it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources in October in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
New dental licensure fee cap set
10/08/2015
The governor has signed a bill that includes an increase in the cap on dental licensure fees, along with cap increases for most other fees, as part of the Dental Board of California’s sunset review. The proposed cap for initial and biennial renewal fees was part of AB 179 and will increase to $650 as of Jan. 1, 2016, and rise to $800 in 2018.
Local hazardous waste programs available for dentists
10/01/2015
Dentists should be aware that many counties across the state allow small businesses to use their household hazardous waste collection programs. CDA recently updated its Household Hazardous Waste and Small Quantity Generator Programs resource that outlines the availability of local household hazardous waste programs for the disposal of hazardous waste. A household hazardous waste program is a good alternative to hazardous waste pickup, especially due to the fact that dental practices generate small quantities of the waste.
CURES enrollment deadline expected to be pushed back
09/22/2015
The CURES enrollment deadline for providers will be pushed back from Jan. 1 to July 1 of 2016, if the governor signs a bill. The CURES 2.0 was planned to be in use by July 1 of this year, yet the system is still not fully operational. The delay will give the Department of Justice (DOJ) time to finalize CURES 2.0 and providers to enroll.
Top trending CDA Practice Support resources
09/14/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, and it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
New resource helps dentists stay HIPAA-compliant
09/04/2015
An average dental practice data breach can cost a dentist anywhere from $100,000 to more than $1 million. According to the Office of Civil Rights, an average of 4,707 individuals are affected by a breach in a dental practice. To help dentists stay compliant, CDA has released a new, members-only, HIPAA Compliance CD Bundle. The bundle helps dentists design and implement a comprehensive compliance program using a step-by-step approach.
Physical theft most common data breach in practices
08/25/2015
The most common type of data breaches in health care settings, including dental practices, is physical breaches. This is unique when compared to other industries. Specifically, more than half of the data breaches in health care settings are a result of devices being physically stolen from a practice, car, home or elsewhere according to the California Department of Justice.
What dentists need to know about new CURES system
08/25/2015
All dentists who are authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish or dispense controlled substances must register for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) by Jan. 1, 2016. CDA Update staff asked the Department of Justice about the new CURES 2.0 system and what dentists should do to register and ensure their systems are compatible.
FCC: Dentists must get consent to make billing calls
08/25/2015
Dental practices now must obtain authorization from a patient to call him or her on his or her cellphone to discuss account and insurance information, according to a recent ruling. A July 10 order by the Federal Communications Commission, interpreting a rule it promulgated in 2013, is cause for CDA to advise dental practices to ensure their policies and procedures for communications using patients’ cellphone numbers is in compliance with the law.
OSHA updates eyewash station resource
08/20/2015
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its resource for maintaining eyewash stations in the dental practice. The OSHA Infosheet states that the ANSI standard for eyewashes specifies that eyewashes must be capable of delivering tepid flushing fluid to the eyes not less than 1.5 liters per minute (0.4 gpm) for 15 minutes after a single movement and subsequent hands-free operation.
FDA revises label warning for NSAIDs
08/18/2015
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing label warning that non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. The drug facts labels for over-the-counter, non-aspirin NSAIDs already contain information on heart attack and stroke risk.
Top 5 CDA Practice Support resources in August
08/13/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, and it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
Online license renewal system to go live this year
08/11/2015
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is set to launch a new computer licensing system for dentists, hygienists and assistants in 2015. Known as the BreEZe system, it will allow dental professionals to apply for or renew their licenses online, pay with a credit card, track the status of an application or licensing request, submit address changes and obtain proof of license status.
Prescription drug database changes looming
07/28/2015
All dentists who are authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish or dispense controlled substances must register for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) by Jan. 1, 2016. In addition, the Department of Justice and the Department of Consumer Affairs recently announced that a new CURES 2.0 went live on July 1. This upgraded prescription drug monitoring program features a variety of performance improvements and added functionality.
First UCSF student completes licensure by portfolio
07/27/2015
The first student to complete the licensure by portfolio process at the UCSF School of Dentistry has graduated. Jose Molina, DDS, who is now practicing as an associate dentist in Fresno, chose to obtain his licensure through this process because he felt it was a more “complete assessment” of his competency as a dentist. He also appreciated the fact that he was able to work on his own patients, providing follow-up care as needed.
Use caution when referring patients to side businesses
07/22/2015
CDA has been made aware that an imaging company in Southern California is emailing dentists to offer a “bundle deal” on CT scans for patients. Purchasing such a package may be a violation of the Dental Practice Act because it would allow a profit on a referral. Dentists who own a side business, such as an imaging company, also need to be cautious and make sure they stay in compliance with the Dental Practice Act.
Top 5 CDA Practice Support Resources in July
07/20/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, as it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources this month in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
07/14/2015
Dentists with licenses/permits that expire in August need to check their mail for renewal notices mistakenly sent in envelopes with a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair.” The Dental Board of California confirmed that a vendor inadvertently mailed August renewals in the wrong envelopes, which could lead dentists to mistakenly discard their renewal notices.
Get tips on cyber security for your practice
07/08/2015
Providing the best care possible to patients is what is top of mind for dentists, but as patient records transition into the digital age they also have to think about protecting patient data. From crypto-ransomware, which attempts to extort money from dentists in exchange for their hacked patient records, to theft of computers and flash drives, dentists must take the proper steps to make sure they aren’t putting their patients and their practices at risk.
07/01/2015
CDA is making dentists aware of an issue that is occurring with license renewal notices being sent in the mail. A member recently notified CDA that she received her renewal notice in an envelope that had a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair,” and nearly disposed of the unopened envelope. Subsequently, CDA confirmed that some notices might have been sent out by accident with the wrong return address.
Top 5 CDA Practice Support Resources in June
06/19/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, as it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources this month in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
First dental students complete licensure by portfolio
06/11/2015
The first two dental students in the country have now completed the licensure by portfolio process. The University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry students, Daniel Feldman and Dan Beroukhim, accomplished this by building a portfolio of completed clinical experiences and clinical competency examinations in six subject areas over the normal course of their clinical training. Calibrated UOP faculty evaluated the examinations.
Dentists must comply with new medical waste law
06/01/2015
California’s Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA) was amended earlier this year. As a result of this amendment, there are changes dental practices need to make. It has come to CDA’s attention that there has been some misinformation circulated which is causing confusion. Here are the facts of the MWMA changes that impact dental practices.
Dental board proposal includes new license fee cap
05/28/2015
The Dental Board of California is proposing an increase in the cap on dental licensure fees, along with cap increases for most other fees, as part of its sunset review. The proposed cap for initial and biennial renewal fees, recently approved by a legislative committee as a part of AB 179 (Dental Board Sunset Review), would increase to $650 as of Jan. 1, 2016, and rise to $800 in 2018.
Top 5 CDA Practice Support Resources in May
05/21/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, as it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources this month in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
Role of dentists in reducing prescription drug abuse
05/14/2015
In California, more than 1 billion dosage units of hydrocodone combination products were dispensed in the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to the state’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). What's more, approximately 100 percent of the hydrocodone use worldwide occurs in the U.S., according to Tony J. Park, PharmD, JD, who co-hosted a lecture on the topic at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim on May 2.
Pharmacies rejecting dentist prescription forms
05/04/2015
CDA reminds dentists who write controlled substance prescriptions that they must ensure their tamper-resistant forms are up-to-date. CDA has learned prescriptions are being rejected by pharmacies because the forms do not include all of the required elements. One of those required elements is that tamper-resistant forms used for controlled substance prescriptions must have the prescriber’s address preprinted on them.
Top 5 trending CDA Practice Support resources
04/24/2015
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease as it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources this month in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
CDA offers employment posters to members
04/21/2015
CDA has mailed updated employment poster sets to local dental societies for distribution to members. Several state and federal agencies, including the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, California Employment Development Department and California Department of Industrial Relations, require employment posters to be conspicuously displayed in dental offices. To check on the mailing status of their complimentary employment poster set, dentists should contact their local dental societies.
CDA updates guide to Dental Practice Act
04/17/2015
CDA provides a guide to its members that is intended for use by dentists and allied dental health professionals to assist them in complying with the California Dental Practice Act. Some of changes in the 2015 edition of Your Guide to California Dental Practice Act Compliance are listed in this story.
Do collection agency efforts violate HIPAA - it depends
04/06/2015
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).
04/03/2015
The Assembly and Senate Committees on Business and Professions recently held a “sunset review” hearing for a variety of professional licensing boards, including the Dental Board of California. At the hearing, CDA acknowledged the board’s recent fee audit and, given recent increases in licensure renewal fees, urged the board to establish a structurally sound budget and a clear and evidenced-based process for future licensure fee increases.
03/20/2015
In preparation for its Sunset Review this year, the Dental Board of California initiated a fee audit in December that examined, in detail, how much of the board's budget is spent on each board function - something that CDA strongly advocated for during discussions with the board on recent dental licensure fee increases. The completed audit revealed that the board spends significantly more on enforcement than for all other functions, predicts the board will run a $4.3 million deficit this fiscal year.
03/10/2015
New legislation sponsored by the California Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA) would make a number of changes pertaining to registered dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAPs). Among the proposed changes in AB 502, authored by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), is eliminating the current requirement for RDHAPs to obtain a dentist’s prescription in order to continue providing services to patients after 18 months.
Dental board conducting C.E. audits for license renewal
03/10/2015
The Dental Board of California is currently in the process of auditing random dental practices to ensure that licensees are meeting the continuing education (C.E.) requirements necessary for license renewal. Over the last year, the dental board has been auditing approximately 60 dentists per month. Two issues identified during these audits are that licensees are unable to produce the appropriate certificate of completion for C.E. courses, and licensees are taking classes that are not dental-related.
Notify dental staff of sick leave law changes
03/09/2015
CDA has included information in its new 2015 Sample Employee Manual that dentists can use to notify their employees about the changes to the paid sick leave law in California. The new law, which takes effect on July 1, requires nearly every employer in California to allow all of its employees at least three paid sick days each year.
ADA, CDA ask for changes in amalgam separator rule
03/06/2015
The ADA and CDA are advocating for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise its proposed rule, which, if adopted, would call for most dentists to install, operate and maintain amalgam separators. While the proposed rule incorporates many of the important principles required by the ADA for its support of a national standard, neither ADA nor CDA support it in its current form. Each organization submitted comments with their concerns in separate letters to the EPA in February.
March 1 HIPAA deadline for dentists approaching
02/24/2015
Dentists have until March 1 to report a HIPAA-compliance issue to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS). Specifically, HIPAA-covered practices must report any breach of its electronic patient information that may have affected fewer than 500 people by that date. Breaches that may have affected more than 500 people have more strict timelines as practices only get a 60-day window to report the incident.
CDA offers radiation safety information
02/19/2015
A recent article published by Consumer Reports cautions readers about the radiation they receive from diagnostic imaging, noting the effects are cumulative over time and suggesting all those taken may not be necessary. Unfortunately, the article did not attempt to describe the conditions under which longer intervals between dental X-rays is warranted, nor did it discuss the oral conditions for which dental X-rays aid diagnosis.
Precautionary measures in aftermath of measles scare
02/10/2015
As California grapples with a large measles outbreak, now numbering 107 cases as of Feb. 9, health officials highly recommend health care professionals and their staff get the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) combination vaccination, if they have not already been immunized.
Dentists targeted by misleading labor law notices
02/10/2015
Two CDA members in Southern California have contacted CDA about a notice asking for money to receive “current compliant State and Federal 2015 Employment Posters.” The notice instructs dentists to “detach the coupon and return in the enclosed envelope with your processing fee of $84.00” to get “mandatory compliance state and federal posters.”
Dentists cited for not having Cal/OSHA required plans
02/09/2015
The failure to have written plans for exposure control (blood-borne pathogens), injury and illness prevention, and hazard communication continues to be a problem for California dentists. A CDA analysis of Cal/OSHA citations and penalties assessed for dental practices from October 2013 through September 2014 shows that these three topics are at the top of the list of most common inspections and citations.
Get discounted license to play waiting room movies
02/05/2015
In order for dentists to show or display a movie in their offices, they need to obtain a public performance license. Failing to comply with the copyright law can result in significant penalties. To help dentists remain in compliance, the ADA has negotiated an agreement with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) that gives ADA members the opportunity to obtain a reduced-rate license to exhibit movies and other audiovisual programs at their offices in a copyright-compliant manner.
Dental practices should be aware of measles outbreak
01/30/2015
As of Jan. 21, there were 59 cases of measles among California residents since the end of December 2014, according to the California Department of Public Health. Initial exposure in December at a southern California theme park occurred in 42 of those cases. A dental practice’s ATD screening procedure should include questions on patient’s potential exposure to measles.
Dentist has patient data held for ransom
01/27/2015
One California dentist decided to share her story to warn other dentists of a relatively new hacking scheme. It is called “crypto-ransomware” and it attempts to extort money from victims by displaying an on-screen alert. These alerts often state that the computer has been locked or that all files have been encrypted, and demand that a ransom be paid to restore access.
Tips for negotiating service provider contracts
01/23/2015
Sometimes dentists need assistance from outside vendors for certain services, whether it be waste hauling, marketing, website development or other types of service contracts. When using these service providers, it is important for dentists to analyze the contracts closely during the negotiation process to make sure they know exactly what they are signing up for.
New radiation machine fees, forms required
01/13/2015
As 2015 begins, there are new fees and forms dentists should be aware of regarding the use of radiation machines. Annual radiation machine registration fees went up from $79 to $93 as of Jan. 1. In addition, new forms are available from the California Department of Public Health to report the discontinuance of use and when a dentist is no longer in possession of any functional radiation machine.
Handling emergency Schedule II prescriptions
01/12/2015
Following the October 2014 reclassification under federal law of hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) such as Vicodin and Norco from federal Schedule III to federal Schedule II, some dentists report pharmacies refusing to fill emergency prescriptions telephoned in for HCPs, under circumstances in which they may traditionally have been accepted. This article is intended to clarify the state of the law with regard to such HCPs and help dentists understand the requirements and limitations on oral prescriptions for a Schedule II drug.
Use encryption to avoid health care data breaches
01/08/2015
The recently released 2014 California Data Breach Report, published by the Office of the Attorney General, reports that 70 percent of health care sector data breaches in 2012 and 2013 were the result of lost or stolen hardware or portable media containing unencrypted data. Dentists need to take the necessary steps to protect their patients' information.
12/15/2014
Legislative proposals from the California Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA) that would significantly change the supervision and practice of hygienists’ were released at a December meeting of the Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC), and they appear very similar to the changes proposed by CDHA earlier this year that CDA strongly opposed.
New licensure by portfolio set to be implemented
12/12/2014
Dental students in California will soon officially be able to graduate with a “portfolio” model exam process over the course of their final year in dental school. In November, the Dental Board of California finalized the regulatory process of approval for the portfolio examination model and California’s dental schools can now begin the implementation process (it is not a requirement for the schools, however). This is the first licensure-by-portfolio-exam program in the nation.
12/11/2014
The Dental Board of California has released its 2014 Sunset Review Report to the state legislative bodies responsible for analyzing and approving the document. Areas of particular interest to CDA during the Dental Board’s sunset review process are ensuring the addition of statutory language that exempts treatment of a spouse or domestic partner from the definition of sexual misconduct and alternative licensure options, including regional and national examinations.
Prepare for dental code changes in 2015
11/18/2014
Dentists need to ensure that their practices are prepared for dental procedure code changes that go into effect Jan. 1. There are 73 code changes, including 16 new procedure codes. The ADA released the latest version of the Current Dental Terminology (CDT) Codes earlier this year.
Use caution with patient referral, loyalty programs
11/18/2014
There are many advertising options for dental practices to use as a way to keep current patients and bring new patients in. One way dentists can do this is through a patient loyalty program where patients earn “points” in exchange for gift cards or other rewards for keeping appointments, brushing and flossing regularly, etc. Dentists participating in such a program must make sure they are staying within the guidelines of the law and CDA ethical standards, however.  The CDA Judicial Council reminds dentists that problems arise in a patient loyalty program when points are earned and prizes are given for patient referrals.
Data breach law amendments coming in January
11/14/2014
California's data breach notification law will undergo amendments effective Jan. 1, 2015. Some reports have indicated that AB 1710 will require companies to provide credit monitoring in the event of a data breach, which is not true. It does state, however, that when companies experience a data breach and decide to offer credit monitoring to affected individuals, they must offer the services at their own expense and for no less than one year. The breach notification must also contain all material information individuals need to take advantage of the offer.
New Ebola webinar, resources available
11/13/2014
CDA continues to keep members informed on the latest information available on the Ebola virus. Most recently, the American Dental Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, released a webinar titled "Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Its Implications for the Oral Healthcare Community." The educational webinar, which consists of four chapters, is meant to ensure the dental community is informed on this emerging disease, and prepared to appropriately address it.
E-prescribing hydrocodone drugs
11/04/2014
Now that hydrocodone combination products, such as Vicodin and Norco, have been reclassified as Schedule II drugs, CDA Practice Support has been receiving inquiries about how to prescribe these drugs electronically. Dentists can no longer call or fax prescriptions for these drugs to pharmacies because Schedule II drugs have more restrictions.
Ebola, infection control guidance
10/09/2014
The ADA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide resources, including an upcoming webinar, for dentists regarding infection control and the Ebola virus. The ADA, along with the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), is developing a webinar focusing on infection control procedures in the dental office. The ADA and CDA will provide members with information on the webinar as soon as it is posted.
Hydrocodone schedule change now in effect
10/08/2014
Dentists are reminded that starting Oct. 6, hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco are classified as Schedule II drugs and require Schedule II authority to prescribe. CDA reminds dentists to visit the DEA’s website to ensure their registration is up-to-date. Pharmacists will be checking the website for proper authority before filling Schedule II prescriptions. Dentists whose registration status is not updated should anticipate receiving pharmacists’ phone calls prior to filling prescriptions for Vicodin, Norco or similar products.
New law protects patient premium dollars
10/06/2014
CDA's advocacy efforts have resulted in Gov. Jerry Brown signing CDA's sponsored bill, AB 1962, which establishes standardized requirements for dental plans to disclose how they spend patient premium dollars, along with three other CDA-supported bills. Read a breakdown of these legislative actions.
EPA rule: dentists must cut amalgam discharge
10/01/2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released new proposed standards to cut discharges of dental amalgam to the environment under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would require all affected dentists to control mercury discharges to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). Specifically, it would require them to cut their dental amalgam discharges to a level using amalgam separators and the use of other "Best Management Practices," according to an EPA statement.
Hydrocodone reclassification set for Oct. 6
09/23/2014
Beginning Oct. 6, hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco will be rescheduled as Schedule II drugs instead of Schedule III. Dentists with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration that does not include Schedule II authority will have to change it to continue prescribing/refilling certain pain-relieving medications for their patients.
Educate dental team about HIPAA compliance in morning huddles
09/09/2014
The morning meeting for a dentist and their team helps outline the patient care for the day, but it also can serve as a good time to remind staff about the importance of protecting patient information. A CDA Presents lecturer, and information security expert, lays out a list of topics dentists can discuss with their staff to make sure the practice remains HIPAA compliant.
09/02/2014
The DEA reschedule becomes effective Oct. 6, 2014. This change will impact how hydrocodone products are prescribed and dispensed in California because the requirements for prescribing and refilling C-II drugs are more restrictive than for C-III medications.
Hydrocodone drugs reclassified
08/22/2014
Despite concerns expressed by the ADA and other stakeholders, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has finalized a rule to classify hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco as Schedule II drugs instead of Schedule III. The reclassification, effective Oct. 6, will impact dentists with a Schedule III DEA registration because they will have to reregister with the DEA for Schedule II authority to continue prescribing/refilling certain pain-relieving medications for their patients.
State releases new chart on dental medical waste disposal
08/21/2014
The subject of medical waste disposal has been one of the more frequent questions from members coming into CDA’s Practice Support lately. The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has posted a new chart on dental medical waste disposal. While the law hasn't changed, the new chart can help dentists who are curious about the storage time for different types of medical waste.
08/12/2014
It was a week before Christmas last year when the practice of Robert Meaglia, DDS, in Rocklin was broken into through the back door. The burglars took everything they could get their hands on, from toothbrushes to a Gameboy. But the most important thing they stole was the main unencrypted computer that had all of Meaglia’s patients’ information on it.
CDA clarifies misinformation about Botox action
08/05/2014
CDA is aware of a letter that has been posted on Facebook and circulated among members suggesting that a recent Dental Board of California disciplinary action, initiated against a dentist who does not hold the required permit for the cosmetic use of Botox and derma fillers, is actually a broad prohibition on cosmetic dental procedures. This is not true and the alarm it is generating is unwarranted.
New safety information on multiple-use dental dispensers released
08/01/2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released new safety information about multiple-use dental dispensers. The new information, released in July, includes a definition of multiple-use dental dispensers, information on the importance of infection control and a series of do’s and don’ts.
Staying in compliance with air tank compressors
07/17/2014
Dentists should make sure that their air tanks and compressors meet the requirements under state law. California requires a permit for any air tank that is 1.5 cubic feet in volume or larger, or when the safety valve is set greater than 150 psi. A permit is valid for five years. Dentists can have inspectors from the Cal/OSHA Pressure Vessel Unit conduct safety checks on tanks and compressors for the purpose of issuing and renewing permits.
What you need to know when renovating a dental practice
07/10/2014
Whether a dentist is building a new practice or renovating his or her current office, there are specific laws that come in to play for office design. One of the most important things dentists should consider is the state and federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (AwDA). Outside of the AwDA, state codes affecting office design include electrical, fire, mechanical, building, plumbing, energy and historical building codes, according to CDA’s Legal Reference Guide.
Dental licensure fees rising
07/01/2014
Dental licensure fees are on the rise as the Dental Board of California struggles with rising costs that have led to a significant budget deficit. An increase in initial licensure and biennial renewal fees from $365 to $450 took effect July 1, the current maximum allowed under law, which the Dental Board approved last fall. However, the board still projects a deficit even with the increase to $450. Consequently, the board sponsored SB 1416 (Block) this year, which was signed into law last month and raises the fee to $525 effective Jan. 1, 2015 - the amount the Department of Consumer Affairs has determined the board needs to remain financially solvent.
Report: HIPAA complaints on the rise
06/27/2014
The Department of Health and Human Services recently released its "Annual Report to Congress on HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rule Compliance." In the report, the HHS detailed the number of complaints received for the calendar years 2011-12, the number of complaints resolved, the number of subpoenas or inquiries issued and more. The HITECH Act requires HHS to conduct the report, which found that during 2011 and 2012, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received 19,476 complaints, which was a significant increase over each respective year prior.
Phase 2 of HIPAA audits to launch this year
06/12/2014
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it would be conducting a second phase of HIPAA audits. The audit program is intended to be primarily for information gathering, but the HHS Office for Civil Rights will assess whether to open a separate compliance review in cases where an audit indicates serious compliance issues. Therefore, it is important that dental practices have a current HIPAA risk analysis in place; that their Notice of Privacy Practices is current and acknowledgement of receipt forms are maintained.
Dental Board cracking down on Botox law
04/21/2014
CDA has recently learned that the Dental Board of California has begun taking disciplinary action against dentists who are providing Botox/Dysport or derma filler treatments to patients for cosmetic purposes or teaching courses to dentists to do so.
Department of Health launches HIPAA security assessment tool
04/08/2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new security risk assessment tool that helps dentists and other health care professionals be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is important for dentists to conduct a security risk assessment as required by HIPAA to protect their patients' information and minimize liability risk. A recent review of HIPAA enforcement actions reveals that entities were penalized for not having a documented risk analysis or for having an incomplete analysis.

03/21/2014

With the receipt last month of final approval from the state Office of Administrative Law, initial and biennial dental licensure fees will be increasing for the first time since 1998, effective July 1, 2014. A group of ancillary fees that is linked by law to the biennial renewal fee will be increasing as well.

CDA member’s computer theft leads to HIPAA inquiries
03/10/2014
A CDA member’s dental practice lost a computer server to thieves last year, and is now responding to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) inquiries on that practice’s HIPAA compliance. CDA has been assisting the practice in this process, and is offering members recommendations so they can avoid a similar situation.
Conducting a risk analysis key for HIPAA compliance
02/10/2014
It is important for dentists to conduct a Security Rule risk analysis as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect their patients’ information and minimize liability risk.  A recent review of HIPAA enforcement actions reveals that entities were penalized for not having a documented risk analysis or for having an incomplete analysis.
CDA’s updated radiation safety guide now available
01/27/2014
To ensure compliance with state radiation regulations, dental practices, clinics and dental educational programs should obtain the recently updated Radiation Safety in Dental Practice.
Clarifying HIPAA’s impact on using Windows XP in the dental office
01/27/2014
There has been a lot of speculation around the use of Windows XP as it relates to HIPAA violations. Many IT consultants are saying if dentists’ information systems are operating on Windows XP after April 8, 2014, they are in violation of HIPAA. The HIPAA Security Rule does not specifically require the use of operating systems that are manufacturer-supported so continuing to use Windows XP after April 8 is not in itself a HIPAA violation.
FDA says discontinue prescribing high dose of acetaminophen
01/24/2014
As a precaution to the risks of liver injury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says dentists and other health care professionals will need to limit the amount of drugs they are prescribing to patients that include acetaminophen.
Top 10 Practice Support Center resources of 2013
01/08/2014
From the latest on HIPAA compliance to how to optimize a Yelp profile, CDA has it all. As we enter 2014, let’s take a look back at the top 10 resources CDA’s Practice Support Center provided dentists in 2013.
12/16/2013
The Dental Board of California recently began a large-scale enforcement effort against the unlicensed practice of dentistry in Southern California. The Southern California Unlicensed Dentistry (SCUD) Task Force was established by the Dental Board's enforcement unit and has been  investigating numerous reports of unlicensed dentistry being offered in a wide variety of settings.
12/13/2013
In January, dentists receiving their biennial renewal statements from the Dental Board of California (DBC) will see an increase in the total fee from $365 to $377.
Emergency kit basics for dental practices
11/26/2013
Some states may have more rigorous emergency kit requirements, and The Dentists Insurance Company advises dentists to check with their state dental board or dental association for specifics on what to include beyond ADA recommendations. TDIC advises all dentists to know when, how and in what dosages to administer drugs included in their emergency kits. Stocking emergency medications but lacking the training to administer them appropriately can be a liability.
11/19/2013
As a result of a recent announcement from the Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC), licensed dentists and registered dental hygienists are each now required to provide specified public notification that they are licensed and regulated by the Dental Board of California and the DHCC, respectively.
Taking steps to protect patient information under HIPAA
11/08/2013
Recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) expanded patient rights with regard to their health information and added a breach notification rule for covered entities, such as dentists, to follow.
10/14/2013
The combination of a HIPAA deadline and vendor communications about the deadline recently sent many CDA members to the Internet and telephone to find out what assistance they could get from the Practice Support Center. Callers had specific questions on the requirement to securely transmit protected health information to other dental practices.
09/25/2013
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has announced that it is no longer moving forward with a legislative package to reform the Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws. CDA had been the only health care organization invited to participate in stakeholder discussions with the administration on this issue.
What to include in a medical emergency kit
09/24/2013
Many CDA members are calling the CDA Practice Support Center and asking what they need to include in their medical emergency kit. Most dental offices have one emergency kit to be used for both employees and patients. For employees, Cal/OSHA does not specify what should be in a medical emergency kit, just that the employer have documentation that a physician approved the kit.
09/10/2013
The federal OSHA's deadline for dentists to train employees on the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s adopted revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard is Dec. 1. Compliance with other elements of the rule must be met by June 1, 2016.
08/26/2013
The Dental Board of California has released for public comment its proposed regulations that would raise the initial licensure and biennial renewal fees for dentists from $365 to $450, the maximum currently allowable by state law.  The public has until Sept. 23 to provide written comment (or in-person comment at a public testimony-only hearing to be held on that date in Sacramento).
08/20/2013
With the legislature entering the final month of its 2013 session, CDA was an active participant in negotiations with the governor’s office, the legislature, and a variety of business, legal and consumer stakeholders in an attempt to improve the state’s Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws. Prop. 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide “clear and reasonable warning” if the product or business location may expose employees or consumers to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
07/29/2013
The Sept. 23 compliance deadline for the omnibus rule/HITECH amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is just around the corner. There are a couple educational options for dentists related to this subject.
07/16/2013
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.
State rules online discount contracts violate law
06/06/2013
The Legal Division of the California State Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has released a legal opinion concluding that a contractual arrangement between a health care professional and an Internet marketing service (Groupon, Living Social, etc.) offering online discounts for medical services violates state law.
06/05/2013
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited final omnibus rule under HIPAA (Omnibus Rule) on Jan. 25, 2013. The rule implements the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and requires that health care providers amend their Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) and Business Associate Agreements to include new elements. The compliance date for the final rule is Sept. 23, 2013.
06/03/2013
California employers have until Dec. 1, 2013, to train employees on the new hazard label elements and safety data sheet format required by the Cal/OSHA Hazard Communication Regulation. Cal/OSHA recently amended the state regulation to conform to federal regulation and the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Employers also need to update their hazard communication plans.
04/25/2013
CDA members should be aware that local sanitation agencies are sending surveys to dental practices asking about amalgam waste management practices. It is recommended that members review their protocols. The Practice Support Center’s website, cda.org/compass, has several resources available on amalgam waste.
04/03/2013
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that enforces HIPAA, has clarified that unencrypted emails may be sent to patients who have been advised of risks and have consented to receive unencrypted emails. CDA offers a few suggestions to obtain patient consent to communicate via unencrypted email. Be sure to retain documentation with the patient record.
04/01/2013
CDA will mail updated employment poster sets to local dental societies for distribution to members this month. Several state and federal agencies require employment posters to be conspicuously displayed at dental offices. Stay up to date with CDA’s set.
02/26/2013
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited final omnibus rule under HIPAA (Omnibus Rule) on Jan. 25. The rule implements the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and amends provisions related to privacy, security, breach notification and enforcement in important ways.
New online reporting application for CURES program
01/17/2013
The state Department of Justice announced that Atlantic Associates has implemented its online direct dispense reporting application for data submission to California’s prescription monitoring program, Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES).
11/21/2012
Despite strong lobbying from the ADA and other dental organizations, a 2.3 percent medical device excise tax is set to take effect on Jan. 1. Dentists should be aware, however, that the impact of the tax on dental practices is not entirely clear. The Internal Revenue Service has not yet published final regulations or provided guidance as to how it applies to dentistry. The tax may impact dental practices in the form of increased costs for purchasing supplies and equipment.
11/20/2012
As of Nov. 28, dental practices are required to post a new notice to consumers. Business and Professions Code Section 138 requires the Dental Board of California, and other licensing boards within the state Department of Consumer Affairs, to require a licensee to post a notice that informs consumers that the licensee is regulated by the state.
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