Menu
Cart

News — dental practice

Dentists’ Attitudes About HIPAA- Is It a Problem?

I talk with numerous dentists and staff about HIPAA compliance in their offices as I travel and lecture on HIPAA compliance. I am deeply concerned about dentist and staff members’ attitudes about HIPAA compliance. I’d like to share them with you to help you understand the attitudes I regularly encounter. You will see why I am concerned that the Office for Civil Rights (HIPAA police) is giving dentistry some special attention the next year or so. These are listed in no particular order: HIPAA Schmipaa – This is the bah-humbug of compliance with HIPAA and other government regulations. This is...

Read more →

Data Backup versus the Data Backup Plan

Okay folks – we need to talk about your data backup.   Dental offices, as covered entities, must meet Implementation Standards to get in compliance with the HIPAA security rules. There are two types of implementation standards: required and addressable. Required means it must be done and there is only one right way to do it. Addressable means it must be done, but you have options. However, if you aren’t going to do it, you must document in writing why. Substantiate. Substantiate. Substantiate.   Backing up your data (the act/action) is an addressable implementation standard. You’ve got to do it,...

Read more →

The Use of Designated Agents in Your Practice

Ask yourself the following questions. Does anyone other than the dentist ever: Prepare prescriptions for controlled substances for the dentist’s signature? Call or fax prescriptions to a pharmacy? Handle controlled substances for ordering, inventorying, shipping/receiving, and/or preparing for the dentist’s administration to a patient? Look up patient/caregiver drug histories in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)? Look up the dentist’s prescribing history in the PMP? Transport controlled substances to a satellite office? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your office should officially authorize the staff members who perform these functions to be in compliance with federal regulations regarding...

Read more →

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...

Read more →

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?

Read more →