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?
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.
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.
Household products are excluded from the Hazard Communication Standard providing that these items are not used in excess of household use, used in a different form or concentration or manner generally used by the average consumer.
Ever notice how jammed packed Dollar General Stores can be? Dollar General faced $1.68 million in fines after safety inspectors found violations in stores located in AL, FL and GA. Fire hazards were noted, such as failure to keep exit routes and electrical panels clear and unobstructed and failure to mount fire extinguishers.
Over ordering can result in pushing the practice over budget and risk expiration of products prior to use. Not having enough supplies leads to frustration especially when you reach for a product only to find an empty shelf. How do we implement good inventory control?
If a pregnant dentist, dental assistant, or dental hygienist must take patient radiographs, it is recommended that you provide a personal dosimetry badge to track her exposure to radiation, according to the ADA. Provide barrier protection while operating radiographic equipment.
The law requires that we ask the patient to acknowledge receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices. The law does not require the patient to sign the “acknowledgment of receipt of the notice.” Signing does not mean that the patient agreed to any special uses or disclosures of the patient’s records. Refusing to sign the acknowledgement does not prevent you from using or disclosing health information as HIPAA permits.