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Ohio State Dental Board Implements Teledentistry Rules

Ohio law defines “teledentistry” as the delivery of dental services through the use of synchronous, real-time communication and the delivery of services of a dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary pursuant to a dentist’s authorization.[1] The law requires a dentist who desires to provide dental services through teledentistry to apply for a teledentistry permit from the Ohio State Dental Board (“OSDB”).[2]

Pursuant to the mandate under Ohio Revised Code 4715.436, the OSDB is implementing the following teledentistry permit rules and requirements (to be set forth under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4715-23). These regulations, which were subject of a public hearing on February 19, 2020, are effective on May 30, 2020.

  1. A dentist wishing to provide services through teledentistry must apply to the OSDB. There is a $20 application fee for a teledentistry permit. The application must contain the following: (1) The address where dental services will be provided through teledentistry; (2) The name and license or registration number of each dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary who will perform dental services through teledentistry when the dentist is not physically present and the location where they will provide these services; and (3) A description of all equipment used to establish and maintain synchronous, real-time communication during the provision of dental services through teledentistry. Any description must include manufacturer name and model number. Other general permit requirements are found in OAC 4715-23-01
  1. Requirements on the proper and approved continuing education courses for a teledentistry permit can be found in OAC 4715-23-02
  1. When services are provided under a teledentistry permit and the patient is not examined in person by the authorizing dentist, informed consent must be obtained before the placement of interim therapeutic restorations or the application of silver diamine fluoride. Guidelines on how to obtain informed consent are detailed in OAC 4715-23-03
  1. Equipment requirements (which can be found in OAC 4715-23-05):
    • All equipment used to provide dental services through teledentistry must comply with HIPAA, HITECH, and all other applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
    • All equipment used for providing dental services through teledentistry must be utilized in a space dedicated to providing dental services through teledentistry. This space may also function as a space in which dental services are provided when the dentist is physically present.
    • Authorizing dentists must ensure that all data connections and storage (including cloud storage) used in the provision of dental services through teledentistry are encrypted.
    • High definition intraoral cameras must be used to provide dental services through teledentistry.
    • A microphone must be utilized to allow verbal communication between the dentist, patient, and staff during the provision of dental services through teledentistry.
    • A digital x-ray machine capable of producing high definition images that can be immediately transmitted to the authorizing dentist during the patient’s appointment must be available while providing dental and diagnostic services through teledentistry.
    • All patient records must be transmitted, transported, handled, stored, protected, and secured in compliance with HIPAA, HITECH, as well as all state and federal laws and regulations. 
  1. An authorizing dentist who is providing dental services through teledentistry may not at any time have more than a total of three dental hygienists and expanded function dental auxiliaries working under the dentist’s authorization. An authorizing dentist must remain attentive and available to attend to the health and safety of all patients regardless of whether the dentist is physically present or not physically present with the patient. If an authorizing dentist supervises any dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary on the same day as the authorizing dentist authorizes any dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary to provide dental services through teledentistry, the authorizing dentist should not have more than a total of: (1) four dental hygienists practicing clinical hygiene under the supervision of the authorizing dentist, or three dental hygienists providing dental services through teledentistry; or (2) two expanded function dental auxiliaries practicing as expanded function dental auxiliaries under the supervision of the authorizing dentist, or three expanded function dental auxiliaries providing dental services through teledentistry, except that the total number practicing under the supervision of the authorizing dentist shall not exceed two. Additional authorization regulations are found in OAC 4715-23-06.

Please contact a BMD healthcare attorney if you have any questions regarding these new teledentistry regulations and how you may utilize them within your practice, any general telehealth rules, or any other general healthcare questions.

Explosive Growth in Pot of Gold Opportunity for Bank (and Other) Cannabis Lenders Driving Erosion of the Barriers

Our original article on bank lending to the cannabis industry anticipated that the convergence of interest between banks and the cannabis industry would draw more and larger banks to the industry. Banks were awash in liquidity with limited deployment options, while bankable cannabis businesses had rapidly growing needs for more and lower cost credit. Since then, the pot of gold opportunity for banks to lend into the cannabis industry has grown exponentially due to a combination of market constraints on equity causing a dramatic shift to debt and the ever-increasing capital needs of one of the country’s fastest growing industries. At the same time, hurdles to entry of new banks are being systematically cleared as the yellow brick road to the cannabis industry’s access to the financial markets is being paved, brick by brick, by the progressively increasing number and size of banks that are now entering the market.

2021 EEOC Charge Statistics: Retaliation & Impact of Remote Work

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its detailed information on workplace discrimination charges it received in 2021. Unsurprisingly, for the second year in a row, the total number of charges decreased as COVID-19 either shut down workplaces or disconnected employees from each other. In 2021, the agency received a total of approximately 61,000 workplace discrimination charges - the fewest in 25 years by a wide margin. For reference, the agency received over 67,000 charges in 2020, and averaged almost 90,000 charges per year over the previous 10 years.

Ohio’s Managed Care Overhaul Delayed – New Implementation Timeline

At the direction of Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) launched the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process in 2019. ODM’s stated vision for the procurement was to focus on people and not just the business of managed care. This is the first structural change to Ohio’s managed care system since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) approval of Ohio’s Medicaid program in 2005. Initially, all of the new managed care programs were supposed to be implemented starting on July 1, 2022. However, ODM Director Maureen Corcoran recently confirmed that this date will be pushed back for several managed care-related programs.

Laboratory Specimen Collection Arrangements with Contract Hospitals - OIG Advisory Opinion 22-09

On April 28, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published an Advisory Opinion[1] in which it evaluated a proposed arrangement where a network of clinical laboratories (the “Requestor”) would compensate hospitals (each a “Contract Hospital”) for specimen collection, processing, and handling services (“Collection Services”) for laboratory tests furnished by the Requestor (the “Proposed Arrangement”). The OIG concluded that the Proposed Arrangement would generate prohibited remuneration under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) if the requisite intent were present. This is due to both the possibility that the proposed per-patient-encounter fee would be used to induce or reward referrals to Requestor and the associated risk of improperly steering patients to Requestor.

Property Owner Protection from Tax Valuation Challenges

New legislation provides significant new protections for commercial property owners against challenges to valuation primarily by local school boards and prohibiting side agreements to avoid tax valuation changes. The Ohio Legislature has approved House Bill 126 which will go into effect July 2022 but will effectively apply to the 2023 tax valuation year.