Acadia Health doing business as Just Kids Dental filed a notice of a data breach with the Attorney General of Maine on September 1, 2023. Evidently an unauthorized party accessed patient information including:
Dental compliance and infection control have become even more important to dental practices, and for good reason. Not only does adhering to protocols keep patients and staff safe, but it also virtually minimizes the risk of investigative action or complaints. We talked with Olivia Wann, founder of Modern Practice Solutions and a lawyer and compliance consultant and got her perspective on the complex landscape of dental compliance and infection control. Her combination of practical experience in the industry and legal education makes her an expert guide to dental practices wanting to bridge the gaps in their OSHA, infection control, and HIPAA compliance programs and implement effective safety training.
It is the policy of the Board to require strict compliance with the laws of the State. It is the duty and responsibility of the Board to enforce the Practice Act.
Prevent a Board complaint from occurring by familiarizing yourself with the Board’s website and reviewing the Board of Dentistry’s disciplinary actions. Seeing the common pitfalls will help you to avoid the same mistakes.
As many of you are aware, I started working in a dental office when I was 17 years old. I worked part time as a janitor for a cleaning company.
I cleaned Dr. Artie Peacher's office in Dover, a small rural town in Tennessee where I live. I also worked part-time as the deputy clerk and master in the Chancery Court. Back then, I had no idea how the dental field and the legal profession would collide into my career!
In dentistry, we know that informed consent allows patients to make decisions in their dental care. We are aware that parents and legal guardians provide consent for minors. But the question arises, who provides consent for minors who are in foster homes?
Should I sell my parents’ home if they are going into a nursing home? Consult an attorney. Selling the home may end up disqualifying an individual from TennCare (Medicaid) benefits. The home is usually an excluded asset when applying for Medicaid.
If a tenant does not pay rent in Tennessee, can I evict them? If there are 75,000 residents or more in your county, follow the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. In smaller counties, issue at least 30 days’ notice in writing.
Who inherits if you die without a will? If there is no will in place, Tennessee allows intestate succession. If property is owned by the deceased, there are a few scenarios: If there is a spouse but no children, the spouse inherits. If there is no spouse and there are surviving children, the children inherit equally. If there is a spouse and children in Tennessee, the spouse receives either 1/3rd or a child’s equal share.
There is a deadly fungus among us! Recently we learned more about Candida auris at the OSAP meeting. Candida auris (C. auris) is a deadly fungus that spreads in healthcare settings. It can be carried on the patient’s skin and spread to others.
A conservatorship is basically a guardianship for an incapacitated adult. Conservatorship can be solely for the estate, meaning the person’s finances or for the person, such as authority to handle day to day life decisions, or for both the estate and the person. Conservatorships are created by a court order. To avoid a conservatorship, be sure to have a valid power of attorney in place designating your agent.
A general durable power of attorney is an important legal document that involves designating an agent to handle your legal and financial affairs. Tennessee recognizes springing durable power of attorney which means the document is activated if you are incapacitated. Something as simple as cancelling a mobile phone service cannot be handled without a valid POA. Individuals can save money and time with a POA compared to the costs of a conservatorship that involves court intervention.
It may sound redundant, but we cannot please every patient we serve. Although the majority of the individuals we serve may be great patients and contribute to you having a wonderful day at work, the reality is there’s those one or two who make our lives miserable. It’s the rude, disruptive patient who has unrealistic expectations. They don’t comply with your recommendations and then blame you for unfavorable results. They fail to keep appointments. They don’t pay their bill. And somehow you are the target.
As air quality has been a major headline topic lately in the eastern U.S. and Canada, it is a major consideration for the dental practice as well. The scientific community has made a committed emphasis on indoor air quality of medical and dental facilities since the 1960s, and now with airborne infections becoming a critical focus, there have been new developments in ensuring that your practice’s air is clean and healthy for both the patients and its workers.
As of May 10, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with a Florida healthcare clinic to resolve a disability discrimination complaint based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
There are several social media scams where hackers gain access to your social media accounts, remove your business name, and you from it altogether. If you see a message sent from a friend that seems unusual or "phishy" with titles such as "Did you see this?!" or "Look who died," do not open the link. Make sure your passwords are updated and difficult to crack.
Most practices maintain a website. According to the Office of Civil Rights, if you maintain a website, you are required to make available your Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP). According to 45 CFR 164.520(c)(3), "(i) A covered entity that maintains a web site that provides information about the covered entity's customer services or benefits must prominently post its notice on the web site and make the notice available electronically through the web site."
You can likely recall an experience where a patient forgot to tell you they had a heart attack or other major illness since the last time they visited your office. Good thing you took the time to make an inquiry of any changes in their health history!
This is a great question. We appreciate anyone willing to serve in compliance capacities in a practice. First, let's establish that the role and designation of the HIPAA Privacy Officer and the role of the HIPAA Security Officer may be combined into one designation as the HIPAA Compliance Officer in smaller practices. However, compliance with the Privacy Rule versus the Security Rule is a bit different.
Are you planning to travel with your practice laptop this year? Here are some interesting statistics for you to take into account.
Are we required to conduct annual fit testing if we wear N95s?
It depends. If you require the use of respirators, you must provide annual fit testing.