Blog Posts

HELP!!!!!! OSHA is Here!! What do I do now?

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

The key to having confidence in your compliance program is preparation. This article is designed to help you prepare for an OSHA visit. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. Tennessee OSHA is an agency of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In addition to Tennessee, there are other states who have OSHA-approved State Plans. (1)

There are different types of audits:

Top Ten Violations TOSHA Will Look For

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Many dental offices are scrambling to achieve OSHA compliance with the recent announcement of random audits as part of TOSHA’s Local Emphasis Program. Numerous dental offices across the state of Tennessee have been randomly audited. There has been much confusion and quite a bit of stress resulting.

This article explores common violations we commonly see in dental offices in Tennessee. We hope you will find this information helpful in closing the gaps in your compliance program.

OSHA Audits for Tennessee Dental Practices

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Effective October 1, 2017, all dentists licensed in Tennessee will be subject to a random OSHA inspection. This is part of the Local Emphasis Program.

According to OSHA, they analyzed data collected over a 10-year period. The results indicate that 319 serious hazards were identified with an average of 11.8 per facility. The Local Emphasis Program will focus primarily on exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials and exposure to hazardous chemicals. Each year, the OSHA area offices will be expected to inspect at least five (5) dental offices and this includes offices with less than ten (10) employees.

Maintaining Computer Logs for HIPAA Compliance

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Millions of dollars are spent on costly HIPAA settlements due to violations and a lack of compliance.  Overlooking risk can result in a security breach.  

Covered entities are required to not only make a security risk assessment to safeguard the electronic protected health information (ePHI) but also to act on those assessments.  This article explores the maintenance of computer logs and how this procedure can detect an unauthorized access.

How to Avoid HIPAA Marketing Scams

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Keep it Real:
How to Avoid HIPAA Marketing Scams
By Olivia Wann, JD

Has your dental office received a phone call stating the following: “My name is XX. I’m calling your office today to conduct your mandatory HIPAA Security Risk Assessment that’s required by the Department of Health and Human Services…”

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Action: Limited English Proficiency & Language Access Plans

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

We have received a number of support calls from dental offices regarding the Section 1557 compliance. If you accept Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and/or received funding under the HITECH Act, please read this letter carefully.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act protects individuals from discrimination in health care based on race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex including pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.

Understanding Business Associate Agreements

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

A critical component of a dental office’s HIPAA compliance program is obtaining business associate agreements from their business associates. A business associate is a person or an entity that provides services for the covered entity (dental office) involving protected health information (PHI) and electronic protected health information (ePHI).

Examples of business associates include electronic claims vendors, information technicians (IT), practice management software companies, appointment confirmation companies, marketing companies, trainers, consultants, bookkeepers, accountants, lawyers and others.

How to Dispose of Dental Anesthetic Carpules

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Modern Practice Solutions, LLC is receiving numerous calls regarding disposal of pharmaceutical waste, particularly dental anesthetic carpules. The American Dental Association recently published an article, “Stericycle Contracts: Read the Fine Print – Dentists Question Business Practices,” in the ADA News June 20, 2016 edition. Dentists are looking for affordable options for waste disposal rather than being bound to expensive contracts.

New Overtime Rules – Time for Dentists to Get into Compliance

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The dilemma of whether an employee is salary or hourly continues to perplex employers.  Perhaps you have classified your office manager as salary exempt meaning no compensation for overtime because he or she is serving in a managerial capacity.  Maybe the hygienist was also classified as exempt “salary.” The hygienist on a daily rate never had to track hours worked and was paid a daily rate whether they worked 8-hours a day 4-days a week or the occasional 6-days a week.

Handheld X-Ray Unit & Monitoring

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

It seems like a handheld X-ray unit is the way to go . . . is it?

Maybe yes . . . probably no

By Kevin Christian, LLC

Infection Control Breaches in a Dental Office by Olivia Wann

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

As consultants in the dental OSHA and infection control compliance world, we are keenly interested in the promotion of safe dental care and a safe working environment.

There has been documented transmissions of infectious agents including patient-to-patient in dental settings between the years 2003 and 2015.  According to CDC, there have been reported breakdowns in basic infection prevention procedures including unsafe injection practices, failure to heat sterilize dental handpieces between patients, and failure to monitor autoclaves.

How to Pass the Bar the First Time!!!!

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

I graduated from the Nashville School of Law December 2011 and took the bar in February 2012. I was practicing law by May 2012.

I attended law school at night for four years.  Recently I read that the Nashville School of Law had a mere 28% pass rate for the most recent bar exam.

I compiled the proceeding notes following my exam and shared them with a class.  I hope bar applicants surfing the Internet find this helpful.  You CAN pass the bar the first time!!!!

Radiation Requirements for Tennessee by Kevin Christian

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Navigating the myriad of regulations that govern a dental office can be daunting.  And the last thing anything wants is to be out of compliance without even knowing it.  My name is Kevin Christian, and I am the TDA endorsed private X-ray inspector in the State of Tennessee.  I want to take a second to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that dentists often fall into when purchasing X-ray equipment.

OSHA’s New Pictogram Labels

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

As we move into the new year and implement our goals for our practices, don’t forget OSHA’s new requirements.

OSHA updated the requirements for labeling of hazardous chemicals under its Hazard Communication Standard. As of June 1, 2015, all labels will be required to have pictograms, a signal word, hazard and precautionary statements, the product identifier, and supplier identification.  Please see the picture provided.

Everything is Bigger in Texas: HB 300 & HIPAA

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Everything is bigger in Texas….even their version of HIPAA regarding medical records privacy.
Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 300 known as HB 300 effective September 2012 which amended the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act. HB 300 significantly expanded patient privacy protections compared to the federal counterpart outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 known as HIPAA.

OSHA Online Resource for Hospitals

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

OSHA Unveils Its New Online Resource for Hospitals and Health
Care Entities

Learn more visit here:  https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/index.html

Lawyers and HIPAA

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

How Lawyers Who Serve As Business Associates to Covered Entities Align their Law Practices with HIPAA

HIPAA is certainly not new. Hospitals, medical and dental practices, and other covered entities have been grappling with HIPAA for years now. Ask any healthcare worker about the topic and likely you will receive negative feedback.   No doubt such a response relates to the ongoing challenges of HIPAA compliance which includes ongoing training, voluminous policies and procedures, never ending documentation, complicated risk assessments and convoluted risk management plans.

HIPAA: Risk Assessment & Risk Management Plan

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The woes of HIPAA compliance….

HIPAA requires a thorough and accurate risk assessment of your data’s security.  As HIPAA consultants, we collaborate with your Practice Administrator and your IT professionals to answer questions such as:

Dental Meeting Planners

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

It’s that time of year when meeting planners are planning content and speakers for dental societies, seminars, state meetings and workshops.

Modern Practice Solutions is pleased to offer a new course:  The CASH Course.  This class is designed to inspire you and your team members to “unflatten” your practice.

$150,000 Fine for Lost Thumb Drive

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Recently, an unencrypted USB drive (also known as a flash drive, thumb drive) resulted in a $150,000 fine for a dermatology practice.  The device contained protected health information for over 2,200 patients.  Evidently the device was stolen from the vehicle of one of its staff members.  The practice agreed on a settlement for the fine in addition to a corrective action plan to correct HIPAA compliance issues.