HIPAA Alert: $475,000 Hit for Late Breach Notification By Jeanine Lehman, Attorney

On January 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced the first HIPAA enforcement action and settlement based on the late reporting of a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI). Presence Health, a large Illinois healthcare network, settled potential violations of the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule by paying $475,000 and implementing a corrective action plan. The breach involved missing paper-based operating room schedules containing the PHI of 836 individuals. Information included individuals’ names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, dates of procedures, types of procedures, surgeon names, and types of anesthesia....

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Handpieces Must be Sterilized Between Patients

The CDC has come out with guidance about handpieces and sterilization. I have always advocated sterilization of handpieces between patients and for good reason. Basically, the CDC recommends (which most if not all State Dental Boards interpret as law) that you should be heat sterilizing your handpieces and other intraoral instruments that can be removed from air and water lines between each patient use. (see the article below) If you have any questions about this or need help teaching proper sterilization techniques to your staff, please give us a call. 817-755-0035. The only shame is asking for help is in asking...

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Medical History: Why So Important?

Knowing a patient’s full medical history is an important tool in the care and management of dental patients. This isn’t something to skim over. A patient’s medical history (including family history) contains relevant information on his/her overall health; something you do as dentist can exacerbate or complicate a patient’s medical condition or conflict with one or more of the patient’s medications, dietary supplements and/or drug use/abuse.

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FDA: No More KN-95 Respirators (and No Advanced Notice or Transition Period)

Is your dental office using KN-95 respirators? If yes, read on! As if keeping up with the barrage of changes in guidelines hasn’t been challenging enough throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the FDA is here to ‘help’ one more time (and you have no time to prepare unless you heeded my warning from this past Spring when I predicted this situation). The FDA announced the revocation of the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for KN-95 respirators effective July 6th, 2021. In other words you can no longer get by using KN-95s, which may not be a problem for those of you...

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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...

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