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News — dental compliance

What is your Medical History Policy?

As healthcare practitioners, dentists may be the only doctor some of your patients may see. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with your patients about what's important to them. Written review of medical history, like treatment consent, can seldom be over-documented. This is another issue where state boards may differ.As a general rule, I suggest you and your staff update patient medical histories prior to performing any clinical procedure. This also applies to orthodontists, who often believe they are exempted because they don't perform invasive procedures. Keeping updated medical histories can help prevent terrible medical tragedies. Know your patients' health...

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Will Emergency Drugs Bite You in the Butt?

Many states require that Dentists (and even staff members) maintain current BLS, ACLS and/or PALS. Additionally, there are requirements that Dentists have and maintain suitable emergency oxygen and have emergency drugs "as a reasonable Dentist with your training and experience."As a State Board Investigator, I investigated patient deaths and hospitalizations. I saw the real life consequences for Dentists who were not prepared for Medical Emergencies in their practice. Not only do you have the legal and administrative hassles, the worst consequence is that you have to live with yourself. Medical Emergencies are real and being prepared is vital. It starts...

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If You Are Buying a Dental Practice Beware of Caveat Emptor

I work with Private Equity firms as a partner in their due diligence processes. For my parts, office review and records audits, it is about identifying proficiencies and deficiencies (or what I call ‘opportunities’).

 Is the office compliant with OSHA, infection control, DEA regulations, radiation regulations, sedation safety/medical emergency preparedness, HIPAA, advertising/marketing, dental board rules/Dental Practice Act? What safety mechanisms are in place to ensure patient and employee safety? Does the practice code/bill properly? Using correct codes? Have adequate supporting clinical notes to support what is billed? Any overbilling or fraud issues? If so, are they isolated or systemic?

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DEA Compliance Tips You Can Use

There is no need to be afraid of using controlled prescription drugs legitimately but do take time to learn the rules and regulations and periodically evaluation your practice for compliance with controlled substance rules and regulations. Implement corrective actions as necessary. You don’t have to ‘do’ compliance alone. Build your team of experts to advise and support you, so you can protect your practice, and spend more time doing what you love.

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Why Auditing is Important and How It Can Impact Your Practice

Daily perspective (pre-bill) audits help identify and minimizes billing errors by ensuring the accuracy of claims before they are submitted. This step alone can help compliance programs pay for themselves. Periodic retrospective audits involve the detailed review of clinical and billing records for compliance with state and federal recordkeeping and billing requirements. Some items to check include verifying the quality and quantity of radiographs, consent for treatment, proper coding, clinical notes to support each claim that was billed, and medical necessity.

My mantra is: “If It Is Not Written, It Did Not Happen!” Record audits must be documented. In the face of a fraud allegation this documentation can help your defense attorney make their case.

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