Blog Posts

What happens if there is a board complaint?

Thursday, September 14th, 2023

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.

New ADA Publication: OSHA Training and OSHA Compliance

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

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!

Who Provides Consent for Foster Kids in Tennessee?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

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?

Real Estate and Nursing Homes

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

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.

Eviction Questions

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023

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.

What Happens if I Die Without a Will

Wednesday, July 26th, 2023

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.  

Deadly Fungus Among Us

Tuesday, July 25th, 2023

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.

Conservatorships

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

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.  

General Power of Attorneys

Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

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.

How to Get Rid of a Lousy Dental Patient

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

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.

Air Quality in a Dental Office

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

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.

Florida Health Center Fails to Provide Auxiliary Aides and Services to Caretaker, Settles with HHS

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

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.

Are You Aware of the "Look Who Died" Facebook Scheme?

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

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.

Is Your Website in Compliance With HIPAA?

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

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."  

How Often Should You Update the Health History?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

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! 

Should a Hygienist or RDA serve as HIPAA Officer?

Thursday, April 27th, 2023

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 Traveling This Summer With Your Practice Laptop?

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

Are you planning to travel with your practice laptop this year? Here are some interesting statistics for you to take into account.

Is Annual Fit Testing Required for N95s?

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023

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.

Do we need a SDS on Clorox bleach, Windex and Cascade?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

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.

Dollar General Faces Hefty Fines for Safety Violations

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

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.