Report: Oversight Board Collected 20% of Fines Levied Against Dentists
The Dental Board of California has collected only about 20% of the fines it has levied against dentists during the last four years, according to data from a recent legislative report, California Watch reports.
State lawmakers reviewed the report as part of their efforts to examine the efficacy of several medical oversight boards.
About the Fines
Richard DeCuir, executive officer of the dental board, said most fines are imposed when inspectors find unsanitary conditions in dental offices.
The dental board also issues fines and citations on dentists who do not comply with requests for patient records during an investigation.
The report found that the dental board has collected about $24,000 out of the $125,000 in fines it has issued since 2006, meaning it is owed about $101,000 in unpaid fines.
According to the report, the board collected about 37% of the fines it issued in 2007, but about 9% of the fines it issued in the fiscal year that ended in 2010.
Dental Board Response
DeCuir said that the board lags in collecting fines because dentists often appeal citations. Finalized citations can appear on a dentist's license status for decades, while citations for pharmacists and nurses are removed from a public website after three or five years.
DeCuir noted that the dental board is seeking to limit the disclosure of citations to improve its ability to collect fines. He added that lawmakers have pledged to draft a bill that would address several additional challenges facing licensing boards.
Fine Collection for Other Boards
State records also show that:
- The Board of Registered Nursing has collected as little as 14% of the fines it has issued in recent years and is owed $235,000 in outstanding fines; and
- The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians has collected about 80% of the fines it has issued over the last four years and is owed $64,000 in unpaid fines for its vocational nursing program and $11,600 in unpaid fines for its psychiatric technician program (Jewett, California Watch, 8/15).