Regulatory Requirements for Running a Dental Practice

Starting and running a successful dental practice is a challenging process. From OSHA to HIPAA, there are a lot of requirements and regulations that need to be met to be allowed to operate. Staying on top of these requirements and regulations often becomes complicated and incredibly stressful – the process can be such a dream killer for young aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a dental practice. Here is a checklist of regulatory requirements to adhere to when running your dental practice:

Occupational Safety and Health

OSHA has a list of occupational health and safety guidelines that must be followed when running a dental practice. It’s essential that you, the practice owner, and your employees read through all OSHA requirements to ensure that all the details are adhered to. Failure to meet the occupational safety and health standards can lead to the closure of your practice.

Dental Insurance

Even before you open the doors to your new dental clinic, ensure that you have the necessary insurance in place. Insurance requirements for the practice may vary depending on state laws, but it’s always important to ensure that you are protected against legal costs and liability. Most importantly, ensure that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) are met.

Privacy Law

HIPAA is the federal law that provides the United States citizenry with better access to health insurance. The HIPAA law was enacted in an attempt to control healthcare fraud and abuse. Likewise, it ensures portability when employees change employers. Professionally run dental practices do not openly share patient information with others, so you may be wondering how HIPAA can affect your dental practice.

The HIPAA regulation has two arms: the privacy standards and the transactions and code set arm. The former requires dental practices to ensure the implementation of a plan that prohibits the misuse of Protected Healthcare Information and protects patient confidentiality. The HIPAA privacy rule is enforced by Health and Human Services (HHS). The body uses criminal (jail) and civil (fines) penalties to hold violators to account. The rule calls for the use appropriate safeguards to protect healthcare information. It helps patients see how their information is used and what disclosures are made.

Dental Licensing

You will be required to apply and obtain a range of dental licenses to operate a dental practice. There is a variety of local laws and requirements to follow when starting or operating a dental practice, so the licensing will vary from state to state. Some of the said laws and licensing requirements include state business licenses, zoning permits, tax registration, and much more.

Other regulations that apply to dental clinics involve items used in a dental clinic including dental supplies and dental stationery. With all these laws and regulations to follow, organization skills, as well as proper planning, are imperative to the successful running of a dental practice in the United States. Start the preparations for owning a dental practice as early as possible, the third year of your dental school is the ideal time to start preparing for practice ownership.