A complaint to the dental examining board through the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) can be a huge stressor and headache to dentists and hygienists. Our law firm assists dental providers in responding to these complaints. While there are complaints against providers that are warranted, often they are baseless, or due to non-treatment related issues like insurance and billing. While responding to the DSPS used to require only a signed statement from the provider and the patient’s chart, we have recently seen a new requirement – providing copies of dentists’ continuing education certificates.
Completing continuing education (CE) hours is an integral part of renewing your dental licensure with the State of Wisconsin. While license renewal requires you to complete and certify your completion, you are currently not required to submit any of your certificates in order to comply. Essentially, for purposes of license renewal, Wisconsin “takes your word” that you have completed the necessary hours.
The trend with DSPS is to now open investigations into dentists who are unable to provide copies of their CE compliance. Even if the Dental Examining Board does not find any issues regarding the care rendered to the patient, it is still able to open an investigation due to lack of CE documentation. This could extend a baseless complaint into a two-year plus DSPS investigation.
Maintaining documentation of your CE hours should be a priority in managing your practice. Keeping your documentation logged and knowing where your certificates are at all times cannot be stressed enough. Save yourself the hassle of this problem and keep your CEs!
Editor’s Note: WDA members have access to CE folders to keep track of CE credits. Download CE folder
Ellison Hitt, Siesennop & Sullivan LLP