The New ABCs of Dentistry

What do CMS, ACA, OCR, HIPAA and OSHA have in common? Plenty! They are all acronyms for just a few of the federal regulatory agencies or laws that govern dentistry. How many did you get correct? CMS stands the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid; ACA is the Affordable Care Act; OCR is the Office of Civil Rights; HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The scope of these laws ranges from employee health and safety (OSHA) and insurance coverage affecting patients to privacy and security of protected health information.

Dentistry is changing–while you’ve been busy focusing on patient care, embracing new technology and adding new oral health services, laws and regulations have been rapidly changing as well. How well you maintain compliance with the applicable regulations is directly related to the resources you budget for that purpose. Resources include allocating funds as well as staff time to carry out compliance-related tasks or sending key personnel to training programs that enable them to master and sustain their new knowledge. Resources may also include the services of a qualified healthcare consultant or an attorney who can guide you along the way.

The important point is to create a plan of attack to be sure you remain compliant. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” You may not understand all the particular requirements of a regulation; however, you can plan to seek credible assistance. The Institute for Dental Compliance and Risk Management can provide you with a solid understanding of the laws and help you create a successful compliance strategy for your practice. Become part of dentistry’s network of like-minded dental professionals who thrive on acquiring and using their knowledge to set up meaningful and useful compliance routines.