General Business

Laws and regulations applicable to most California businesses, such as sales and use tax and employment posters.

Scammers posing as DEA agents contact dental offices with demands
Several dentists have notified CDA Practice Support or their local dental societies of two scams targeting their dental practices. Dentists in the San Francisco Bay Area, South Lake Tahoe and Central Valley report receiving calls from individuals who claim to be DEA agents, provide badge numbers and proceed to make demands. The callers tell the dentists they could be arrested if the demands are not met.
New requirement for businesses seeking tax ID numbers
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
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.
CDA’s 2019-20 Required Poster Set mails to practice owners in April
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
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.
Therapy or comfort dogs may increase infection risk
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.
Service animal, comfort animal or pet?
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.
Phone scam targets California dental practice
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.
Completion of 2017 Economic Census required
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.
Pharmacies continue to reject prescriptions due to noncompliant forms
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.
Updated Legal Reference Guide for California Dentists features all-CDA content
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.
Check the dates on your required poster set
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.
Pharmacies are rejecting prescriptions due to noncompliant forms
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.
All employers required to e-file and e-pay with EDD in the new year
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.
Informed consent: More than just a form
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.
Guidance on website accessibility added to AwDA resource
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.
Practices may be required to change restroom signage
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.
Posting 'Notice of Privacy Practices' easier with new format
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.
Online-based practices are the way of the near future
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.
'Are you in compliance' with 2016 laws and regulations?
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.
Completed Assurance of Compliance form required
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.
OCR's new FAQ addresses business associates' use of PHI
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
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.
Dental board email address requirement in effect
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.
Civil rights rule compliance required by Oct. 16
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.
Ransomware attacks may be reportable, OCR guidance clarifies
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.
CURES 2.0 enrollment now open to dentists
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.
CURES enrollment deadline moved to July 1
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.
CURES enrollment deadline expected to be pushed back
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.
What dentists need to know about new CURES system
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.
FDA revises label warning for NSAIDs
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.
Role of dentists in reducing prescription drug abuse
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.
CDA updates guide to Dental Practice Act
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.
Get discounted license to play waiting room movies
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.
Prepare for dental code changes in 2015
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
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.
Hydrocodone drugs reclassified
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.
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