|After receiving correspondence from the Department of Labor notifying the practice owner of an audit, practice owners often ask, “Why am I being investigated?” The following list includes reasons and complaints that may instigate a Department of Labor audit investigation:|
|The Hiring Process|
|– Accurate job description developed for all positions|
– Job application submitted with required forms (background check, reference check, credit check release)
– Is your job application compliant with the law?
– Completed reference checks
– I-9 forms completed with proper identification
– Important medical information and emergency contacts gathered and filed
– Proper identification of independent contractors
– W-4 forms completed and submitted to the IRS
– Personnel files kept (and kept current)
|Many patient record release forms do not follow the strict guidelines required for HIPAA compliance. Dentists using these forms face the risk of an alleged privacy breach. A HIPAA compliant patient record release form should contain the following elements:|
|Before any procedure, a dentist should always review the patient’s file and medical history. The medical history allows the dentist to move in a safe direction towards treatment. A patient’s medical history holds great importance in the informed consent process as the dentist explains how medical conditions may impact a patient’s safety. In addition, knowing a patient’s medical history allows the dentist to prevent adverse unexpected results.|
A patient’s medical history should be updated every visit. Updates to the medical history records ever visit should include:
|Obtaining informed consent from a competent adult appears relatively easy. However, receiving informed consent from a minor or mentally impaired/ disabled individual can become a more difficult process.This type of patient population typically raises serious questions as to who can provide informed consent on the patient’s behalf.|
Informed consent grants patients the ability to make thoughtful and informed decisions regarding their dental treatment.This process includes providing information regarding the purpose, procedure, potential risks and benefits, as well as alternative options.
|Having an informed consent process in place ultimately enhances a patient’s understanding and guides their expectations while potentially decreasing the liability of the dentist. In order to ensure the validity of the patient’s consent, the dentist should:|
|• Have a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s medical history.|
• Have the same dentist administering informed consent and performing the procedure.
• Inform the patient of his/ her qualifications, experience, and training to perform the procedure.
• Disclose information regarding the nature and purpose of the procedure, probable risks and benefits, unusual and serious risks (such as death), and the consequences of refusing treatment.
• Give the patient the opportunity to think about the information and ask questions.
• Ensure that the patient is legally and mentally able to give informed consent.
• Never coerce the patient to provide informed consent.
• Provide the patient with a specialist’s information as a treatment option.
• Never go beyond the scope of the outline procedure while the patient is under sedation. The dentist should only complete the agreed upon procedures.
• Heavily document or refuse cases in which the patient chooses to waive his or her right to informed consent.
|For every dental procedure, the dentist should:|
|1. Have an informed consent form that all patients should sign before performing a procedure.|
2. Keep a detailed record of the patient’s history.
3. Maintain a thorough record of the treatment plan and financial services in the patient’s file.
4. Take clear and detailed notes, and include the notes in the patient’s file.
|When considering the purchase of a dental practice, the dentist must perform the required due diligence. The dentist, his/her accountant and lawyer should educate themselves doing due diligence before ever signing a letter of intent. The potential buyer should always ask for the following reports:|
|Buying a dental practice is one of the most significant purchases that a dentist will make in their career. A potential buyer of a dental practice must assemble a team of strong advisors to facilitate the transition. Below is a list of members that are crucial to a successful transition:|