Potential Pitfalls of License Renewal

Potential Pitfalls of License Renewal
Renewing your dental license should be the easy part of your job, right? It can be if you avoid these potential pitfalls.

Renew Early
Dentists are required to renew their licenses every two years and must do so no later than midnight on the day the license is due to expire. Don’t wait until the day your license is set to expire to renew. This does not leave time for  processing delays or to address any issues that may arise.

Audit your CE Hours
Dentists holding an active license must complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education.  Confirm your CE requirement here: https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=22&pt=5&ch=104&rl=1

When you renew your license, you are confirming to the Board that you have completed all required hours. This means that the hours must be completed before you renew your license.

Practice Tip: Keep copies of your CE certificates/records going back at least 3 years. Board rules require that you keep “auditable documentation” of completed all CE hours for a minimum of 3 years. In the event of a Board audit, you will be asked to provide certificates going back at least 24 months.

Complete a Course in Human Trafficking
As of September 1, 2020, dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants must complete a course in preventing human trafficking. The course must be approved by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The 1-2 hour course counts as part of your 24-hour requirement and there are several HHSC approved course options:

Complete the Jurisprudence Assessment
Dentists must complete the jurisprudence assessment every 4 years. This is in addition to the 24-hour CE requirement. Since an updated assessment is not required with every renewal, dentists often lose track of when they last completed it. If you renew your license without having completed the jurisprudence assessment, and your license expiration date passes, your license will “expire.” The Board’s position is that you may not practice until your license is renewed and active again. This is a great example of why you should renew early!

Maintain Current CPR Training
Dentists are required to maintain CPR training given or approved by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. This means that your CPR course must include a hands-on component. Online only CPR training is not sufficient.

Practice Tip: Keep copies of each hygienist’s and each dental assistant’s CPR  cards, even if they no longer work for you. In the event of a Board complaint, you will be asked to provide the CPR cards for all staff who treated the patient.
Written by Laura Diamond
Laura Diamond is an administrative and healthcare attorney practicing in Austin, Texas. Ms. Diamond’s practice includes advising dentists regarding regulatory compliance and defending dentists under investigation by the Texas Board.  She vigorously advocates for her clients during  all phases of the investigatory process, including at informal settlement conference and at hearing. Ms. Diamond has practiced law since 2005.  She is a founding partner of the firm of Dalrymple, Shellhorse, Ellis & Diamond, LLP. She received a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University at Austin in 1995 and her law degree from Baylor University in 2004. 
Ms. Diamond can be reached at ldiamond@dsedlaw.com or (512) 472-4845
Dental Compliance Specialists helps make dental offices safer for patients, dentists and their employees. We help our clients develop and maintain their compliance programs including OSHA/Infection Control, HIPAA, DEA regulations and prescribing practices, Radiation Safety, OIG/Medicaid Compliance, Record Auditing, and more by providing actionable systems, easy-to-use tools, robust training, and accountability. Most of our clients have never been in trouble and want to keep it that way. Sometimes, though, dentists call when they are in trouble. In either case, we are there to make a meaningful difference. If you need help call us at 817-755-0035.
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