DrBicuspid.com Practice Management Insider

Dear Practice Management Insider,

Delivering bad news to patients can be difficult for dentists and patients alike, yet few dental schools teach students the necessary skills to deliver distressing information, according to a study in the April Journal of the American Dental Association.

Read how to handle these situations in a sensitive and supportive way in this latest Insider Exclusive.

In other Practice Management Community news, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to recommend whether primary care professionals should or shouldn't screen for oral cancer. Click here to see how the panel reached this finding, which has perplexed and disappointed many in the dental community.

And Oklahoma health officials have notified some 7,000 patients of a Tulsa oral surgeon about potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis. Click here to read about the rusty instruments and lax sterilization procedures found in his office and a patient who has been infected.

Meanwhile, the North Carolina dental board and a group of dentists have filed lawsuits against DentalWorks, alleging that the dental chain pressured dentists and dental workers to give patients expensive, unnecessary treatments. Read more.

Elsewhere in the Practice Management Community, as more dentists decide to delay retirement due to the economic downturn, many younger practitioners are having a hard time making the transition from associate to establishing their own practices. Read about how one new dentist in the San Francisco Bay Area took the plunge and how, despite many challenges, she's glad she did.

And how would you like to own the building your practice is in for the same amount you're spending on rent? Current low interest rates and tax advantages make real estate a good investment for dentists right now, according to one real estate expert. Click here to read about the advantages and pitfalls.

Also, electronic health records (EHRs) are slowly but surely making their way into the dental office. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology demonstrated how a combined medical and dental EHR system can be used to identify associations between oral disease and multiple medical conditions. And don't forget to check out our new monthly series, EHR Countdown, penned by health IT expert Mike Uretz.

Finally, a New York dentist was awarded $7.7 million after he sued New York officials for $75 million claiming they falsely accused him of Medicaid fraud. The dentist was among the highest Medicaid billers in the state, but he lost his practice and much more following an investigation by former New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.