Dentists have more to comply with than just than OSHA and HIPAA regulations (though these are quite important). Depending on the state there are about a dozen state and federal regulatory agencies that enforce laws that effect dental practices. Few government agencies have the time or resources to proactively audit or investigate dental practices for compliance with laws and rules. However, they do respond to complaints by patients, employees and anonymous persons.
When the government sets foot in a dental practice they often find other things that are ‘wrong’ and the dentist, as the Captain of the ship, is held responsible for every problem ‘they’ find. Tink knows this all too well since he used to be one of those ‘G’ men. The issues can involve OSHA/ infection control violations, unlawful marketing practices (civil/ criminal), Standard of Care/ malpractice issues, patient abandonment, patient hospitalization or death, drug diversion, HIPAA violations, and fraudulent billing practices, which often amounts to miscoding or (more commonly) insufficient clinical documentation. All of these things are fair game. Any of these problems can be a dentist’s worst nightmare come true (or even worse)!
A good offense is the best defense. Have a beautiful practice? It is up to you to prove it. Be proactive and build your compliance program. Cultivate a culture of compliance in your practice to protect yourself, your patients and your staff.
A truly effective compliance program constantly evaluates and evolves to keep up with changes in regulations – all of them! Overwhelming? You bet! Fortunately, dentists no longer have to go it alone.
Check out our cool resources and access the tools and support you need to run an effective compliance program.