Protection

While you are busy with patients, CDA is working behind the scenes to provide you with resources to protect both your practice and profession.

Open enrollment for health insurance options through TDIC begins in October
09/17/2019
CDA members might already know that The Dentists Insurance Company offers dentists-focused coverage for the dental practice, but they might not be aware that TDIC Insurance Solutions offers health coverage, including individual and family plans, small-group plans and Medicare options from trusted carriers. Open enrollment allows everybody to sign up for health care coverage taking effect Jan. 1, 2020. Read on for a description and the enrollment period for each plan option and where to find more information.
Treatment templates: Convenient or careless?
09/05/2019
The day-to-day running of a practice can be hectic at times, so many dental professionals use set systems and procedures to streamline their work. After all, less time on the backend means more time on patient care. But occasionally, cutting corners can lead to unwanted risk. This is especially true when it comes to patient records. Taking shortcuts on charting, such as using preestablished templates, can cause more headaches down the road.
Experts from CDA, TDIC and TDSC on-site at ADA meeting in San Francisco
08/29/2019
CDA may not be hosting a continuing education convention this fall, but dentists and dental professionals who are attending the ADA FDI World Dental Congress Sept. 5-7 in San Francisco can still stop by the CDA, TDSC and TDIC booths to ask friendly experts all of their questions, learn how to save on dental supplies, obtain free, no-obligation insurance quotes and much more.
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.
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.
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.
Avoid medication-related tragedies with comprehensive health History Forms
07/15/2019
Take two of these and call me in the morning. That may have been sage advice a generation ago, but today, dispensing medication requires much more scrutiny. Americans are taking more prescription drugs than ever before, meaning health professionals, including dentists, must use extra precaution when dispensing and prescribing routine medications as part of an overall treatment plan.
TDIC offers tips to prepare dental practices for wildfire season
06/26/2019
As some dental practices in California continue to recover from the devastating effects of the 2018 wildfires, The Dentists Insurance Company advises dentists to be prepared for not only the 2019 wildfire season but also for the possibility of year-round wildfire threats. Making sure all practice records, including patient charts and accounts receivable, are backed up often with copies kept in cloud storage or an off-site location is an important step.
Risk management considerations for older adult patients
06/18/2019
Dental practices welcome patients of all ages, but special considerations are warranted for patients of advanced years. Older adult patients — especially those who are medically compromised or have special needs — require extra precautions to ensure they remain safe while receiving the care they need to maintain their oral health.
TDIC earns endorsements from state and local dental organizations
06/05/2019
The Dentists Insurance Company has earned endorsements from four dental organizations: Washington State Dental Association, Oregon Dental Association, Idaho State Dental Association and Seattle-King County Dental Society. The renewed endorsements from organized dentistry validate the strength of TDIC and the trust that the profession has in an insurance company that protects only dentists.
Depression screening: Not a legal obligation, but an ethical one
05/22/2019
TDIC’s Risk Management Advice Line has received calls from concerned practice owners who became aware of patients or employees suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts. In some cases, a patient mentioned feeling despondent or hopeless. In others, employees threatened suicide or self-harm. While mental health is out of a dental professional’s clinical scope of practice, they have an ethical obligation to help individuals who exhibit distress to access services or support.
Balance honesty with objectivity when addressing prior treatment
04/23/2019
Dentists often find themselves in an awkward predicament when a patient presents with what appears to be substandard work by another provider. On one hand, patients have a right to be informed about the state of their oral health. On the other, dentists should avoid openly criticizing another dentist’s work, even if that criticism may be justified. Finding the right balance between candidness and refrain can be tricky.
TDIC earns AM Best 'A' rating for 25th consecutive year
03/29/2019
The Dentists Insurance Company has earned the AM Best A rating for the 25th consecutive year. AM Best Company ratings include comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management. The A (Excellent) rating is a reflection of TDIC’s financial strength and its mission to provide the best insurance products and related services to more than 24,000 policyholders.
Patient selection: Instincts, courage and healthy relationships
03/26/2019
Of the nearly 3,500 professional liability claims The Dentists Insurance Company addressed between 2012 and 2017, many could have been avoided or mitigated had the dentist been more cautious about choosing which patients to accept into care. “Being selective in the patients you see goes a long way in avoiding trouble down the road,” said Taiba Solaiman, senior TDIC Risk Management analyst.
Remain calm when faced with irate patients
02/28/2019
The Dentists Insurance Company reports several calls to its Risk Management Advice Line from practice owners facing irate patients. Typically, these cases stem from patients who are upset over unplanned expenses, treatment plans they consider unnecessary, failure to achieve expected results from cosmetic procedures or a dentist’s refusal to practice outside the standard of care when a patient attempts to dictate treatment.
TDIC's informed consent form helps dentists follow law when prescribing opioids to minors
02/06/2019
The Dentists Insurance Company has developed a resource to help prescribers follow a new requirement when prescribing Schedule II drugs to minors. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, before a prescriber issues the first prescription to a minor for a controlled substance containing an opioid, the prescriber must discuss specific information with the minor or the minor’s parent or guardian. The new form, “Consent to Prescribe an Opioid to a Minor,” covers the required discussion items.
Bartering your dental services? Get it in writing
01/28/2019
Some dentists agree to trade their work for other professional services or items of value. Bartering is nothing new; it was the only method for exchanging goods and services until hard currency became the norm thousands of years ago. But for dentists, bartering can lay the groundwork for a liability claim should things not go as planned. TDIC reports a case in which a dentist bartered with a patient for landscaping services in exchange for full-mouth reconstruction.
TDIC-acquired companies receive final merger approval
01/04/2019
The Dentists Insurance Company received final approval to merge Dentists Benefits Insurance Company and Northwest Dentists Insurance Company, acquired in February 2017, into TDIC effective Jan. 1. The merger was approved by the California Department of Insurance, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation and the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Post-treatment care crucial in foreign object aspiration incidents
12/19/2018
The accidental aspiration or ingestion of foreign objects during dental procedures can occur on occasion. After all, introducing dental instruments, restorative materials and other small dental components into the oral cavity while a patient is in a reclined position naturally creates an element of risk. While preventive measures may reduce the number of incidents, communication about proper post-treatment care can prevent them from developing into a critical event.
Organized dentistry protects colleagues suffering wildfire losses
12/05/2018
California’s 2018 wildfires damaged and destroyed property and claimed lives in many areas throughout the state. The Nov. 8 Camp Fire in Paradise is the most destructive in state history, claiming at least 85 lives and burning nearly 19,000 structures. The fire chewed through 153,336 acres — homes, schools, churches and businesses, including nine dental practices and one clinic.
Six tools for CDA members who are business owners
12/05/2018
If you’re like many dentists, you’ve got a multifaceted role as practitioner, practice leader and entrepreneur. With your CDA membership, valuable support comes through tools and expertise available online, by phone and at association events. From protecting your property to streamlining paperwork, tap into dentistry-focused business solutions, starting with these six.
Managing patients with HIV
11/19/2018
There is still a great misunderstanding about the spread of one of the most feared diseases in U.S. history — HIV. Unlike the flu or common cold, there is little, if any, risk of spreading the HIV virus in the dental setting as long as appropriate precautions are taken. In California, patients with HIV are protected under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of medical condition, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, among other factors.
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.
Open enrollment: TDIC Insurance Solutions offers health options
10/17/2018
CDA members may know about the dentist-focused coverage offered for their practices by The Dentists Insurance Company, but they may not be aware that TDIC Insurance Solutions offers individual and family plans, small-group plans and Medicare options from trusted carriers to provide affordable coverage. Open enrollment for each of these health plans is either already open or quickly approaching.
New initiative aims to stop scams targeting small businesses
10/09/2018
The Federal Trade Commission recently unveiled Operation Main Street: Stopping Small Business Scams, a “coordinated law enforcement and education effort” involving state and federal partners as well as the Better Business Bureau. As part of this effort, the FTC, jointly with state attorneys general and U.S. attorneys’ offices, announced 24 actions involving “defendants who allegedly perpetrated scams against small businesses” over the past year.
Whodunit? Subrogation Determines Responsibility in Property Claims
10/02/2018
From electrical fires to leaky roofs to failed equipment — suffering property damage can be an unfortunate part of dental practice ownership. As any dentist who has experienced a loss can attest, the goal is to minimize downtime and get back to work as soon as possible. After all, patients depend on dentists to keep their oral health in good order and a disruption in practice operations can prevent them from receiving the care they need.
In doubt about how to handle a situation? Err on the side of caution
08/27/2018
The Risk Management Advice Line is a complimentary service of The Dentists Insurance Company that has helped thousands of dentists seeking guidance on handling difficult situations in their offices. But not all callers are in the midst of a crisis. Sometimes, they simply need reassurance that they’ve done the right thing. Here is one example concerning a patient who presented for an exam and evaluation of her third molars.
New TDIC seminar addresses nerve injury risks
08/20/2018
Poor documentation, failure to immediately disclose to a patient that an unexpected treatment outcome occurred and failure to immediately refer the patient to a specialist were common trends noted in a five-year analysis by The Dentists Insurance Company. The results of this analysis formed the basis for a new TDIC seminar “Pain and Perception: Reducing Nerve Injury Risks,” which launches in September at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco.
Depending on staff to manage patients? Educate them first
07/31/2018
If practice owners fail to educate their team members on their roles, responsibilities and limitations, that positive experience can quickly turn negative. And that negative experience can potentially create a professional liability claim. The following is a case reported by The Dentists Insurance Company along with advice for reducing risk.
DEA registrants targeted by extortion scam
07/30/2018
CDA Practice Support continues to hear from members who report that they have been contacted by criminals claiming to be Drug Enforcement Administration employees. The following article published in April explains the extortion scam and how to report it to the DEA.
Same-name mix-ups: Verify patient information to reduce risk
07/02/2018
The Dentists Insurance Company’s Risk Management Advice Line recently received a call from a practice that was dealing with a case of mistaken identity for same-name patients. The caller actually represented two practices: a pediatric dentistry office and an orthodontic office, which were managed separately but shared a common patient waiting area. Two patients named Haley were scheduled for treatment at the same time — one in each office.
Know you're covered when you volunteer
06/08/2018
Giving back by volunteering dental services can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your professional life. There can be several scenarios in which you provide treatment at no charge — volunteering through a nonprofit organization or community health event, treating a friend or family member or delivering emergency care unexpectedly. A few insights may help you better manage potential risks in each scenario.
Spring cleaning isn’t limited to the office: Update patient records to mitigate risks
05/10/2018
Spring is a prime time to deep clean your practice and tie up any loose ends from the previous year. It’s also a great opportunity to review your patient records and ensure all files are accurate and current. Here are some things to consider when revisiting patient charts. If you find something is missing, review the chart with your patient at their next visit.
It's Disability Insurance Awareness Month: Protect your financial future
05/01/2018
May marks Disability Insurance Awareness Month, and as disability insurance is the most overlooked of the major insurance types according to the nonprofit Life Happens, now is an important time for dentists to ensure that their financial futures are protected. The Dentists Insurance Company encourages dental professionals to take steps to protect their earnings and their practices should a disabling event occur.
TDIC receives 24th consecutive 'A' rating
04/20/2018
The Dentists Insurance Company has announced its 24th consecutive year earning the A.M. Best Company’s “A” rating. The rating includes comparisons to peers and industry standards, as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management. “With TDIC’s consistent and sustainable growth, we’re ensuring a diversified premium base and financial stability for policyholders while we continue to focus solely on protecting dentists,” said TDIC Board Chair Daniel Davidson, DMD.
DEA registrants targeted by extortion scam
04/05/2018
Criminals posing as Drug Enforcement Administration employees are targeting DEA registrants as part of an extortion scam, the administration said in an April 2 email alert according to the ADA. “Please be aware that a DEA employee would not contact a registrant and demand money or threaten to suspend a registrant’s DEA registration,” the email alert states.
TDIC courses in May teach dentists how to reduce employment liability
04/02/2018
Attendees of the 2018 Anaheim CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry will have a number of opportunities to learn about employment law and how to reduce employment liability risks in their practices. Sponsored by The Dentists Insurance Company, the workshop Caution and Control — Reducing Employment Liability will be presented all three days of the May meeting.
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.
Calling the advice line for Risk Management guidance
03/15/2018
The Dentists Insurance Company’s Risk Management Advice Line is a confidential resource designed to help guide dentists to the best course of action when dealing with potential claims from patients or employees. The advice line has helped thousands of dentists and dental professionals navigate difficult situations and establish preventive measures to stop risky situations before they start.
One-on-one support available for CDA members
02/22/2018
It’s no secret that CDA and its family of companies are home to some of the brightest specialists supporting dentistry today. And their expertise is just a call or email away for CDA members. But where should members turn for what kind of support? Here’s your quick-start guide to accessing expert advice.
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.
Re-treating patients when an associate leaves
01/22/2018
Hiring an associate brings the opportunity to lighten workloads and potentially drive in new business. But as with any relationship, both parties may eventually agree to part ways. In worst-case scenarios, the split may not be amicable and your patients and practice as a whole may suffer unwelcome consequences.
Strategize your calendar for 2018
01/02/2018
Whether you prefer a digital organizer or a fresh paper calendar, you’ll be more efficient in the new year by taking a few minutes now to plan to take advantage of all of your CDA membership benefits in the months to come. In addition to vacations and staff birthdays, mark the dates for association events, compliance deadlines and practice reminders. Discover even more membership value, protection and support all through the year.
Keep holidays happy with guidelines for office parties
12/07/2017
When planning a holiday party, one might carefully consider food, décor, entertainment and overall costs. And while choosing the party venue may be a key factor for the average host, it’s an even more essential element for practice owners to consider. It’s important that employers establish clear guidelines when organizing any work-related event. If care isn’t taken, practice owners can be held liable for misconduct.
Membership renewal now open online
11/30/2017
With a single annual renewal, you can continue to experience the benefits of the ADA, CDA and your local dental society. Your ongoing participation in organized dentistry allows you to leverage dedicated legislative advocacy, expertise navigating the business side of dentistry and innovative tools to save time and money in your practice.
What should be done about patients who want to take their crowns elsewhere?
11/21/2017
You take time to build relationships with your patients and plan long-term treatment success. But what happens when a patient has “a better idea” of what should happen midtreatment? Though many patients desire a sense of control in their dental care and want to exercise choice, the trouble happens when a patient attempts to dictate clinical decisions. TDIC has seen a recent trend in the number of patients who are requesting their restorations simply be handed over to them.
Member-exclusive savings add up to sizable dollars
11/10/2017
CDA members already know firsthand that their membership benefits can support them in navigating the business side of dentistry. From Practice Support resources to insurance products designed only for dentists, a full suite of tools is available to help practices be more competitive and efficient. Members also have access to programs that leverage CDA’s size and strength to save them money on dental supplies, insurance and education.
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.
CDA Foundation establishes disaster relief grant for dental professionals
10/13/2017
The loss of life and devastating damage caused by the Northern and Southern California area wildfires is heartbreaking to say the least. Thousands have been affected as the fires ravage through their lives — destroying homes, businesses, schools and entire communities. Already, several dentists and their staff members have lost their homes.
Safe and sober: Managing employees who are under the influence
10/13/2017
Your practice needs the entire team to be sharp and focused for the schedule to run smoothly, so if you’ve ever had an employee show up in the morning unable to perform duties, you can expect to have both a hard conversation and a long day. The impact of an employee’s substance abuse on a practice extends beyond impaired performance and productivity.
TDIC alerts CDA members about copyright infringement risk
09/20/2017
The Dentists Insurance Company has received and is currently working to resolve several claims against its policyholders related to the unauthorized use of proprietary software code on the policyholders’ dental practice websites. The claimant asserts the policyholders have committed copyright infringement by using, without permission, copyright-protected software that provides real-time online chat capability.
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.
Intoxicated patients: To treat or not to treat?
08/22/2017
Many patients suffer from dental anxiety and they all have their own ways of addressing their unease. Anxiety management techniques run the gamut, from conscious sedation to deep breathing to simply toughing it out. Sometimes patients use alcohol or drugs to relax. Whether they turn to the bottle to ease anxiety or simply enjoy a three-martini lunch, dentists are left with the uncomfortable dilemma of whether to provide treatment.
When the dentist is away: Safeguarding the practice
08/03/2017
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry is just around the corner and thousands of dentists and their teams will descend on San Francisco for the event. But what happens at their practices while they’re away? Who will care for their patients? And how can they make sure their properties are safe? Practice owners should take a few precautions to protect themselves and their practices before closing their doors for an extended period of time.
Just say no: How to handle demanding patients
07/19/2017
Patient satisfaction is the ultimate goal of any dentist and most will do whatever it takes to keep their patients happy, confident and pain-free. But what happens when a patient’s expectations are unrealistic? What if a patient is impossible to please? At what point should you say “enough is enough?”
Staying current on employment law helps avoid liability
07/06/2017
Many dentists dream of opening their own practices. And while they may have spent years refining their clinical skills, they are often less familiar with the business side of dentistry. This is especially true when it comes to employment law, an area of frequent claims against dental practice owners. Dentists should heed particular caution to the rules and regulations surrounding meal and rest periods.
Keeping politics out of the dental office
06/08/2017
The Dentists Insurance Company reports an increase in calls to the Risk Management Advice Line regarding heated political debates erupting in the office among both staff and patients. Today’s political climate is more tumultuous than ever, reaching a level of polarization that often spills into daily interactions. Individuals on all sides are emboldened to share their viewpoints. But like the holiday dinner table, a dental office is no place for political or religious discussions.
Risk Management analysts share top three concerns
06/06/2017
Practice owners who have questions about dismissing a patient, giving a refund or terminating an employee are not alone. The Dentists Insurance Company reports these are the top three risk management issues facing dentists today. In fact, these issues make up the majority of calls received through the Risk Management Advice Line. Following are real-life calls and recommendations offered by TDIC RM analysts.
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.
Take steps to protect earnings in May
05/11/2017
A survey by the organization indicates that individuals have a “three in 10 chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury that would keep them out of work for three months or more during their career.” With this in mind, during Disability Insurance Awareness Month in May, The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC) encourages dental professionals to take steps to protect their earnings and their practices should unforeseen events occur.
Pound foolish: Cost as a factor in treatment decisions
04/25/2017
All too often, patients fail to follow treatment recommendations due to expense, putting their oral health at risk. In addition, dentists sometimes make their treatment recommendations based on what a patient’s insurance plan will cover. The Dentists Insurance Company reports calls to the Risk Management Advice Line from dentists whose patients have refused care based on the cost. While budgetary limitations are certainly a reality of life, dentists are advised to proceed with caution when allowing patients to dictate care.
Guidance on reducing employment practices liability
04/12/2017
At CDA Presents Anaheim, attendees will have an opportunity to take advantage of several offerings from The Dentists Insurance Company, including a TDIC Risk Management seminar on reducing employment liability. California dentists who attend the seminar will earn 3.0 Category II C.E. units and TDIC policyholders will receive a 5 percent discount* on their TDIC Professional Liability premium for two years.
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."
TDIC expands business to additional states
02/28/2017
In the insurance industry, consistent and sustainable growth ensures a diversified premium base and financial stability to support policyholders. TDIC recently announced the purchase of three dentist-centric professional liability insurance businesses from an Oregon-based company, Moda, Inc., resulting in an extension of TDIC’s dentist-focused exceptional products and services to more than 4,500 policyholders in five additional states.
Thorough treatment plans build patient trust
02/27/2017
Imagine taking your car to the shop for a minor repair — say, to replace the spark plugs or patch a tire. Now, imagine picking your car up at the end of the day to discover that your engine has been completely rebuilt — and you’re responsible for the bill. This scenario would be unlikely to occur in the auto repair industry, but it happens all too often in the dental industry, leaving broken trust, unhappy patients and disputed bills in its wake.
Updated anesthesia consent form required
02/22/2017
Under AB 2235, the pediatric anesthesia bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last September, dentists are required to obtain written informed consent from the parent or legal guardian of a minor patient prior to administration of general anesthesia or conscious sedation. As part of this requirement, the written informed consent form must contain new, specific language.
23 years of 'A' ratings for TDIC
02/17/2017
The Dentists Insurance Company has once again earned an “A” rating from A.M. Best Company, marking the 23rd consecutive year for TDIC. The rating includes comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management. Insurance professionals refer to Best's Credit Ratings as an opinion of the financial strength and creditworthiness of risk-bearing entities and investment vehicles.
Final notice: Sending an account to collections
01/23/2017
Collections is one of the most crucial and challenging aspects of practice management. Using a collections protocol is a basic first step in addressing unpaid balances, but if phone calls and letters go unanswered, a dentist is faced with the dilemma of whether to turn the account over to a collection agency. TDIC advises dentists to carefully consider the pros and cons of such an action.
Small businesses increasingly targeted by cybercriminals
01/17/2017
The National Cyber Security Alliance cites a surprising statistic: 60 percent of small businesses will close within six months of a cyberattack. And cybercriminals are more frequently targeting small businesses and organizations, which were once considered a lesser target. Now, cybercriminals exploit small businesses to gain access to bigger businesses through the distribution chain or payment portals.
Accepting a dismissed patient back into the practice
12/12/2016
Whether an old flame or a disloyal friend, choosing to accept someone back into one’s life can be a difficult decision. But what about accepting dismissed patients back into the practice? Do they deserve a second chance? The answer is: It depends. According to The Dentists Insurance Company, in some cases, such as noncompliance, accepting a dismissed patient back to the practice can lay the groundwork for a liability claim. But in other cases, the answer isn’t so clear.
Taking inventory to safeguard the dental practice
11/14/2016
Relying on memory alone to recount business assets is an exercise in futility. While most dentists have a general idea what they own and how much it’s worth, not all have a thorough, detailed inventory of their office contents. Unfortunately, failing to document all items of value can lead to a shortage of insurance coverage should a loss occur.
Request a one-on-one Risk Management consult
09/23/2016
The Dentists Insurance Company now offers policyholders the ability to schedule appointments online.
Better hiring with license verification and background checks
09/20/2016
For practice owners, hiring competent, qualified and properly licensed staff is a key responsibility. Should it be discovered that an employee is practicing without a license, there are serious repercussions for both the unlicensed employee and the practice owner, for example. However, sometimes the requirements as an employer are murky, and tasks associated with hiring can get pushed to the back burner.
Data Backup: Assessing risk tolerance
08/22/2016
Data loss can happen to anyone, at any time. Data loss can even happen to dentists. The Dentists Insurance Company reports one Bay Area dentist lost all of his patient records when his hard drive crashed. When he attempted to restore the data by accessing his backups, he discovered his system hadn’t been backing up for two years.
How to handle equipment failure
07/11/2016
When faced with equipment failure, practice owners must be prudent with their actions should they seek to file a claim with their insurance carrier. At best, failure to preserve property can result in a delay in payment; at worst, it can result in the loss not being covered at all.
TDIC signs purchase agreement for Moda-held companies
06/14/2016
TDIC has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to purchase three Moda-held companies — Dentists Benefits Insurance Company (DBIC), Dentists Benefits Corporation (DBC) and Northwest Dentists Insurance Company (NORDIC). The definitive agreement follows TDIC’s recent announcement of the intent to purchase the companies that provide and administer insurance products and services to more than 4,500 policyholders in seven states.
TDIC expansion plan announced
04/29/2016
TDIC has announced it has signed a letter of intent to purchase three dentist insurance businesses from an Oregon-based company, Moda. The acquisition will allow TDIC to expand its exceptional service and products to more than 4,500 additional policyholders, further strengthening TDIC with a broader premium base.
Disability Insurance Awareness Month a good time to consider future
04/27/2016
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for dentists to make sure that their futures are protected. Disability Insurance Awareness Month was named by the LIFE Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures.
Don't forget to earn your 5 percent TDIC discount
03/09/2016
TDIC Professional Liability policyholders whose risk management premium discount expires soon should register for their last chance to complete TDIC's current risk management seminar, Beyond the Science: Patient emotions in dentistry.
TDIC earns 'A' rating for 22nd consecutive year
02/17/2016
The Dentists Insurance Company has announced its 22nd consecutive year earning the A.M. Best Company’s “A” rating. The A.M. Best Company rating includes comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management.
CDA supports, protects dentistry in 2015
12/14/2015
CDA is helping member dentists meet today's challenges of practicing the way they want, providing excellent care to their patients and giving back to their communities. Here are highlights of those achievements in 2015.
Learn how to handle 'dental fear' in patients
11/12/2015
Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry is now open at tdicinsurance.com/seminars. TDIC is offering the seminar to help dentists correctly identify and handle patients who exhibit dental fear. Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry presents real case studies to dentists and staff members to help them recognize when, and how, to dismiss a patient without placing them at risk; establish trust in the doctor-patient relationship to encourage treatment compliance; create office protocols to instill confidence in the dentist and staff.
Red-flag behaviors for identifying embezzlement
09/24/2015
Embezzlement is typically defined as the theft of money or property by a person trusted with those assets. It usually occurs in employment settings, and small businesses suffer more losses from fraud than larger organizations. Dentists may inadvertently put their practices at risk for fraud by trusting a single employee with sole financial responsibility or by not reviewing accounts payable and receivable. However, this vulnerability can be reduced through awareness of “red flag” behaviors and a few key accounting protections.
Last chances to attend TDIC RM seminars
09/16/2015
There are three remaining opportunities for dentists to attend the fall 2015 lineup of TDIC's Risk Management seminar, Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry. TDIC is offering the seminar to help dentists correctly identify and handle patients who exhibit dental fear. Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry presents real case studies to dentists and staff members to help them recognize when, and how, to dismiss a patient without placing them at risk; establish trust in the doctor-patient relationship to encourage treatment compliance; create office protocols to instill confidence in the dentist and staff.
TDIC offers tips on patient dismissal at CDA Presents
08/06/2015
There is a right way and a wrong way to withdraw from providing dental care, which will be the topic of a lecture at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry

in San Francisco on Aug. 20. The lecture, titled “Dismissing a Patient: When Is It OK?” will be led by Yasica Cormier, TDIC risk management analyst, at The Spot from 2 to 3 p.m.

Dentists should report employee injuries immediately
07/27/2015
Workers’ compensation covers a broad and multifaceted legal spectrum, but a few essential practices can help dentists manage an employee injury at work. Key considerations include reporting the injury right away, authorizing medical care, avoiding judgment about the injury, maintaining open communication with the injured employee and treating the injured employee fairly.
Actions to help avoid 'ransomware' nightmare
06/30/2015
Dental practices are among the victims falling prey to ransomware, a type of malware that infects and disables computers and demands payment from victims to restore computer access. The Dentists Insurance Company warns dentists that ransomware can bring a practice to a standstill.
IRS to combat tax fraud cases affecting dentists
06/29/2015
Over the last year, CDA has heard from its members about a scam involving other individuals filing tax returns under members’ names. Other health professionals have reported being targeted as well. The Internal Revenue Service is in the process of taking steps to combat this type of activity.
Learning to better understand patient emotions
05/29/2015
Registration for the new fall 2015 lineup of TDIC’s Risk Management seminar, Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry, is now open. Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry presents real case studies to dentists and staff members to help them recognize when, and how, to dismiss a patient without placing them at risk; establish trust in the doctor-patient relationship to encourage treatment compliance; create office protocols to instill confidence in the dentist and staff.
TDIC earns 'A' rating for 21st consecutive year
05/08/2015
The Dentists Insurance Company has announced its 21st consecutive year earning the A.M. Best Company’s “A” rating. The A.M. Best Company rating includes comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management.
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.
Vote against threat to malpractice protection
10/07/2014
CDA President James Stephens, DDS, urges members to vote no on Proposition 46 in the November 4 general election. The primary goal of Proposition 46, sponsored by trial lawyers, is to make malpractice lawsuits against dentists and other health care providers more lucrative, which will significantly increase liability insurance costs, the volume of litigation and patients' health care costs.
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.
Proposition 46: The threat to malpractice protection
09/08/2014
Proposition 46 and the threat it poses to health care providers and the patients they serve was the topic of a timely lecture at CDA Presents in San Francisco. With the Nov. 4 election drawing closer, “MICRA: What Dentists Need to Know About the Threat to Malpractice Protection” outlined how Proposition 46 would raise the cap on noneconomic damages that would result in large payouts to trial lawyers, who are behind the ballot measure that also calls for physician drug testing and a statewide prescription database that jeopardizes patient privacy.
Life Insurance Awareness Month a good time to re-evaluate coverage
09/05/2014
Now is an ideal time for dentists to re-evaluate insurance coverage, which can have huge implications on the lives of their families and their ability to retire. Life Happens, a nonprofit organization formed in 1994, has dubbed September Life Insurance Awareness Month. The associated awareness campaign is intended to help consumers understand life, disability, long-term care and health insurance.
CDA members getting calls from fraudsters posing as IRS agents
07/28/2014
CDA has heard from several members about a scam involving calls from fraudsters claiming to be IRS agents or other law enforcement authorities. The scammers threaten victims with arrest, deportation, license revocation or business closure unless the individual pays the taxes they claim are owed. The callers demand payment by way of a prepaid debit card, credit card or wire transfer. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an alert advising those targeted by the scam on how to report it.
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.
New dentists get break on first year of TDIC insurance
06/11/2014
To make the transition from dental school to the workforce easier, TDIC is offering newly licensed dentists their first year of Professional Liability insurance for just $50. In addition, new dentists receive a 45 percent discount in their second year of practice and a 25 percent discount in their third. Founded more than 30 years ago by CDA dentists, TDIC now protects more than 18,000 dentists nationwide.
06/03/2014
California’s attorney general recently issued guidance on amendments to the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) that may have an impact on dental practices. CalOPPA now requires any operator of a commercial website or mobile application that collects the personally identifiable information (PII) of California residents to disclose how the website responds to “do not track” (DNT) browser signals.
Oral cancer protocol essential as legal cases rise
05/30/2014
The Dentists Insurance Company reports an increase in claims related to oral cancer and advises dentists to conduct regular oral cancer screenings on all patients. In addition to consistent documentation of screenings, follow-up and referral of any suspicious lesion or area is strongly recommended. An attorney who has specialized in defending dentists for more than 40 years weighs in precautions dentists should take if they find a lesion or spot that looks unusual.
How to deal with dating in the dental practice
05/20/2014

Interoffice dating can be tricky. Potential landmines include sexual harassment claims, allegations of favoritism, low morale, breakup drama and decreased productivity that can affect the entire dental office, especially if a workplace relationship goes bad. The Dentists Insurance Company recommends a policy defining the consequences of interoffice dating among employees. The policy should include expectations that an office relationship is separate from the work environment and should outline appropriate behavior, such as banning public displays of affection and retaliation if the relationship ends.

More resources available for HIPAA compliance
05/16/2014

Secure electronic transmission of protected health information is one of the many requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. Dental practices should review the rule requirements to ensure compliance. More and more resources are becoming available for dentists to use to stay compliant. The ADA has launched a new kit, for example, that helps dental practices comply with HIPAA. CDA's HIPAA Security Rule: A Summary resource can be found on cda.org/Privacy-HIPAA. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services has a Guidance on Risk Analysis resource on its website hhs.gov.

Dentists and physicians targeted by tax return fraud
05/06/2014
CDA is aware of a tax return identity theft scheme that is targeting dentists and physicians. Initially, the fraud was reported by practitioners in other states, but it now seems that the scheme has made its way to California.
Dentists can protect their future with disability insurance
05/01/2014
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for dentists to make sure that their futures are protected. Dentists who do not have disability insurance and/or business overhead expense insurance, are one accident away from having to deal with insurmountable office overhead expenses and the possibility of being forced into closing their practice. TDIC is encouraging dental professionals to consider the important role disability insurance plays in an individual’s financial security.
Recognizing the symptoms of latex allergies
04/30/2014

In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of health care professionals reporting allergic reactions to latex. Because frequent exposure to latex products can lead to increased sensitivity, health care professionals are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to latex proteins. CDA Endorsed Program PureLife weighs in on the problems, reactions and precautions associated with latex gloves.

04/28/2014
The Dentists Insurance Company reports repeated calls to its Advice Line about harassment of dental staff by patients or vendors. Federal and state laws forbid harassment of employees, and dentists have an obligation as employers to maintain a safe workplace. Further, dentists can be held liable if a harassment situation is not addressed, according to an attorney specializing in labor and employment law.
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.
The Dentists Insurance Company again earns "A" rating
03/11/2014
The Dentists Insurance Company has announced its 20th consecutive year earning the A.M. Best Company’s “A” rating. The A.M. Best Company rating includes comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management.
Use of Botox in dentistry is a fine line
02/05/2014
As questions increase about the use of Botox in dentistry, The Dentists Insurance Company advises California dentists that the use of preparations such as Botox and Dysport must be within the scope of dental practice.
Compromised patient health warrants medical clearance
01/07/2014
Dental offices routinely send medical clearance forms to physicians before beginning treatment on medically compromised patients, and The Dentists Insurance Company receives a number of questions on its Advice Line about this practice. A San Francisco-area attorney working with TDIC who specializes in professional liability and business law, weighs in on how when it comes to medical clearance, the big issue is whether dental treatment could substantially affect a patient’s physical condition or the reverse, whether a physical condition could affect dental care.
08/22/2013
Many dental practices, because of their small size, may not be required to provide FMLA benefits to employees. However, risk management analysts at The Dentists Insurance Company advise dentists to address any request for a leave of absence with caution. There may be other laws that do apply to employee leave, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act or workers’ compensation.
07/03/2013
Employment Practices Liability insurance, often referred to as EPL, provides protection for dental practice owners against specific claims made by employees, former employees or prospective employees. EPL covers employment-related claims such as discrimination because of age, sex, race or disability, wrongful termination and sexual harassment, and pays for defense costs, settlements and civil damages in the event of such allegations. Risk Management analysts at The Dentists Insurance Company say it is common for policyholders to mistakenly think their Professional and Business Liability insurance covers employment-related lawsuits.
05/07/2013
In the online world, a website establishes and represents your practice. Just like your brick-and-mortar office, a website needs to be efficient, clean and current. In attracting new patients to your practice via your website, you may want to include testimonials and photos of your patients, and The Dentists Insurance Company reminds dentists to secure patient permission in writing first. TDIC’s website at tdicinsurance.com offers image consent forms.
Mobile phone policy needed in dental offices
03/26/2013
Mobile phone use during work hours can give patients the impression their dental care is not a priority, and phone use creates distractions that can increase liability. Inaccurate documentation and lack of attention to detail can occur when concentration is divided between work and mobile devices. The Dentists Insurance Company recommends banning cellphone and smartphone use while on duty, including sending or receiving personal calls, emails and text messages or using smartphone applications.
First-year dentists get discount on TDIC insurance
02/11/2013
To make the transition from dental school to the workforce easier, TDIC is offering newly licensed dentists their first year of Professional Liability insurance for just $50.
March 2012
03/01/2012

Top Stories: CDA bills tackle dental plan concerns; CDA Cares treatment plan: Relieve pain and infection; TDIC announces rate reduction for CA policyholders

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