Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

“Regulations, Ignorance of the Law is no Excuse” & “It’s All About Gold”

Cliff’s Notes for September 4, 2011


Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210…..E-mail:

“Ignorance of the law excuses no man: Not that all men know the law, but because ’tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.”

John Selden


In This Week’s Issue

  • New – The Cliff’s Notes Channel
  • Disaster Recovery, Now Will You Listen?
  • Regulations, “Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse!” Please Don’t ASS-U-ME!
  • Manufacturer Review – Argen Refining, It’s all About Gold!
  • Product Review – Alpen Speedster Metal Cutting Burs & Maxima One Piece.
  • Commentary for Sunday, September 4, 2011.

Cliff’s Notes Channel was Launched on September 1st………………..

On September 1st the Cliff’s Notes opened. The videos you see on the e-blast will now be available at any time at I hope the information will be helpful.

Disaster Recovery, Now will you listen?…………………………………

Did you need to activate your disaster recovery plan in the wake of Irene? Did you have a disaster recovery plan to activate? I would tend to think you didn’t. A disaster recovery plan should address all aspects of your business from the patient records to the use of the facility to on-going treatment plans as well as accounts payable & especially receivables. 

Your insurance broker & accountant/financial advisor should be able to provide you with the guidelines and a temp-plate. If they can’t, they should be able to refer you to someone that can and if not, please contact me as soon as possible. This is something you need to invest time in, today; it is about your family’s security. If you lost anything last week, including money, your plan was not complete.

The business of dentistry is unique. It is small business with limited resources that is heavily regulated by, well, just about everyone. You should consult with organizations that understand that you are not a regular retail business.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns about documenting and implementing a plan. It’s one more reason to embrace the paperless environment, that is, if you are doing “off-site” data back-up but that’s a whole other topic.

Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse!…………………………………………………

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You and Your Dental Practice! Your defensive business strategy is your only salvation. 

If you do not have a written “employee handbook” or a written “patient policy” or a secured access to your files and records, we need to talk. If you don’t have signed employee HIPAA confidentiality agreements in your employee files or if you don’t have employee files, you need to call me. Running a business is more than just “making the sale” and so much more than practice management. Practice management is only a part of managing your business.

Below are some of the laws and regulations you need to know about. Please don’t assume that you are not obligated by any of the laws, because you are. 

When you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U & Me! The video clip below if one of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it.

0:38 Add to

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The Odd Couple – Assume

Classic clip from the 70’s sit com “The Odd Couple.

HIPAA – Heath Insurance Portability and accountability Act of 1996 provides severe civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance, including:

• Fines up to $25,000 for multiple violations of the same standard in a calendar year.

• Fines up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years for knowing misuse of individually identifiable health information.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

• A total of 447,161 charges were brought to the EEOC from 2005-2010; nearly 100,000 of the charges came from 2010 alone.

• In 2008, the EEOC reported financial recoveries of approximately $376 million for victims of discrimination.

• The average verdict award was nearly $900,000 in 2007, according to Jury Verdict Research, while the average settlement was nearly $550,000. These amounts do not include legal fees.


• I-9’s must be correct or $1,100 fine per incorrect form.

• Criminal prosecution for employers who hire illegal workers.

ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Monetary loss through lawsuits and settlements. The federal Department of Justice may file a lawsuit to force ADA compliance and the court may rule that fines need to be paid.

ADE A – Age Discrimination Act of 1967 Back Pay, value of lost benefits, reinstatement and attorney’s fees.

EPA – Equal Pay Act of 1963

Back pay for up to three years from the time of filing the lawsuit, liquidated damages (which can be several times your actual wage loss,), interest, attorney fees and court orders to stop or reverse an employer’s retaliatory actions.

FLS A – Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

Unpaid wages for up to 3 years, fines ($10,000), imprisonment, liquidation damages and legal fees.

PDA – Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

Penalties, fines, lost wages/benefits and attorney’s fees.

USERR A – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 Penalties, fines, lost wages/benefits and attorney’s fees.

Manufacturer Review – Argen Refining!………………………………………..

In January of 1848, James Marshall (from New Jersey) discovered gold in the hills of California. The human obsession for this yellow piece of metal dates back an un-told number of centuries.

Dentistry began using gold for filling because it does not deteriorate like other metals. Needless to say we have advanced considerably since then. However, we still place and remove precious metal every day. So, after you remove that old PFM and put it in the jar with the rest of the scrap, what happens?

Once a year someone walks into your office and you hand them your scrap. They separate (visually) the precious from the non-precious and then take a scale out of their bag, weigh the scrap, hand you cash (or coins) and you say thank you. The chances are that you just gave away 20%-40% of the scrap’s true value. In today’s world of high technology do you think the system could be improved? Well, it has.

Argen Refining ( ) is the largest dental gold producer in the U.S. Not only will they handle your scrap, but they will handle anything such as jewelry, silver, coins, etc. Check out their home page and stop “giving it away”. The following video will help explain the process and the customer satisfaction guaranty.

2:56 Add to Argen Refining

For more information, questions or concerns about Argen Refining please feel free to

Just in case you were wondering…

Sutter’s Mill is where the California Gold Rush started in 1848.  The Gold Rush was one of the biggest reasons the U.S. western territories were born. It was the error of the “Wagon Train”. Then came the railroad, and America’s rise on the world stage.

Hey, Ian Flemings’ “Goldfinger” is still my favorite James Bond movie.

Product Review – Alpen Speeddster Carbide Burs……………………….

They Cut Through Metal

A number of years ago I had the fortune to visit the SSWhite manufacturing facility in Lakewood, NJ. I was amazed how the burs were manufactured and cut. In manufacturing, one bur tray held 900 bur shanks (fg, ra, or hp) and the bare head shape would be welded by an automated process. Then the tray goes to the cutter and the blades are cut into the welded head. When a bur breaks, where does it break? At the weld!  How do we solve this problem? Eliminate the weld!

One of the most aggravating things in your day-to-day practice is removing a fixed restoration. When you’re cutting through metal, Ouch! Well, a number of my clients have been very happy with the performance of the Alpen Series of Carbide from Coltene Whaledent.


Speedster Alpen carbide burs feature one-piece concentric construction eliminates brazed joint breakage and rusting Designed to rapidly cut amalgam, porcelain, metal, enamel, and dentin. They cuts freely and aggressively without stalling or clogging.

The majority of carbides sold today are based on 60-year old, two-piece construction. Alpen Carbides provide clinicians with a comprehensive line of advanced one-piece carbides.

Alpen Carbides are available in a full line of metal cutting, operative and trimming and finishing burs. In addition to friction grip shanks, many shapes are also available in short shank, right angle latch, handpiece and surgical lengths.

The Alpen Speedster Metal Cutting Carbide is about twice the price of a regular carbide, but you only need one!

When it comes to regular carbides, there are only a limited numbers of quality bur manufacturing plants in theworld. Several plants produce rotary instruments for competing distributors. That is the case for the Maxima Carbides. Maxima ranks with the biggest name brands and can be priced for considerable savings.

Maxima One Piece Carbides 

Maxima’s 100% carbide burs reduce breakage associated with two-piece steel/carbide welded burs and will not rust. Their Premium blade geometry reduces vibration and improves cutting accuracy.
Developed to cut more effectively, with a greater blade contact on the tooth surface, the advanced design ensures a fast, smooth, vibration free performance, reducing patient discomfort and operating time.
Maxima Carbide Burs are made from the highest quality, fine grade tungsten carbide. The superior, long lasting quality of these burs is delivered by using advanced manufacturing technology using the very latest equipment enhanced by strict inspection and control procedures. The burs are available in convenient blister 10 packs and economical bulk price 50 blister packs.

Sunday September 4, 2011………………………………………………..

Well, I guess the summer is over. We finished off with a bang, an earth quake and floods, kind of biblical, all we needed was the locust. Anyway, it’s been a tough couple of weeks and now it’s time to start focusing on business and your year end run.

Have you scheduled a meeting with your tax advisor? The 3rd quarter ends on September 30th, so you should be sitting down some time in October. This is probably among the most important meeting you can have. Look at it this way, if you have to write a check, it may be your choice about whose name is on it. 

Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

Enjoy the holiday.

September 5, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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