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New California Law Provides Telehealth Patient Protections

California has approved a law that adopts specific patient-centered standards that dentists must meet when providing care via teledentistry. The law goes into effect in  January 2020.

California has approved a law that adopts specific patient-centered standards that dentists must meet when providing care via teledentistry. The law goes into effect in  January 2020.

This law protects patients who choose teledentistry for their dental care. Specific patient protection requirements include:

  • Providing the treating dentist’s name, license number and dental board contact information,
  • Review of a patient’s most recent dental X-rays prior to beginning orthodontic treatment,
  • A patient examination, including completion of a medical and dental history, diagnosis and treatment plan and,
  • Recourse for the patient to report to the dental board incidents of treatment that fall below the standard of care, even if the patient has signed an arbitration clause or nondisclosure agreement.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), these standards are part of meeting the law’s general requirement that teledentistry care be in parity with the care patients receive in brick and mortar dental offices

A national policy on teledentistry, adopted by the ADA in 2015, addresses patients’ rights, quality of care, licensure requirements, and supervision of dental personnel.

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