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What Malpractice Insurance Doesn’t Cover: The Cost of HR Mistakes in the Dental Industry

You wouldn’t ever operate as a doctor or dentist without malpractice insurance, but countless dental practices — especially smaller private practices — operate without a dedicated human resources team. It’s just as risky. 

Did you know that more than 50% of practitioners will be named in a dental malpractice case in the U.S. over the course of their careers? What’s just as staggering? A single FMLA violation could cost your practice up to $80,000 and simply filing an I-9 form incorrectly could result in a $2,332 fine.

Here are three key reasons you need a dedicated human resources software to improve compliance, avoid fines, and automate workflows. It’s as important as malpractice insurance. 

HR Helps Retain Talent in Dentistry 

It’s a simple fact — great, qualified talent in dentistry is hard to find, especially in a post-COVID-19 world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 203,700 more nurses will be needed nationwide each year until 2028 to meet demand and replace retirees. This doesn’t account for the talent that leaves your practice. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says it costs, on average, a company six-nine months of a team member’s salary to replace him or her. If a team member in your practice makes $60,000 per year, that’s $30,000 -45,000 in recruiting and training costs.

The dental and medical industry is the one field where a lack of talent can literally be life or death. If a hospital or urgent care clinic doesn’t have enough doctors and nurses on hand, patients might not get the care they need — and neglect is a form of malpractice. Plus, when you’re stretched thin and bouncing between patients with no time for a break, you’re more likely to make a mistake that results in malpractice. About 33% of malpractice cases occur because of a misdiagnosis, which is more likely to happen if you’re tired, distracted, or overworked. 

With dedicated HR processes in place and professionals in your corner to assist with recruiting, you can help keep your practice operating smoothly and growing toward your goals. 

How HR Helps with Compliance in Dentistry

Compliance is a major concern at any hospital, private medical practice, dental practice, or vet clinic. A single HIPAA violation can cost a medical practice up to $50,000 and compromise both patient data and your reputation as a medical practitioner. This is why malpractice insurance exists — to help mitigate these costs, and the costs of any other settlements related to malpractice or medical mistakes. 

Too few doctors take the same approach when it comes to operational mistakes, especially those that seem minor but come with a major price tag.  Investing in software that automates the processes associated with HR-related rules and regulations will dramatically reduce your risk of a  HR compliance suit. 

Mitigating Employment Claims in the Dental Industry

Did you know that one in five businesses faces employment claims? On average, these claims take 318 days to reach a resolution and a total cost of $160,000 — for comparison, malpractice cases pay out an average of $425,000 and are less likely to occur. 

An average out-of-court settlement is about $40,000. On top of that, about 10% of wrongful termination and discrimination cases result in a settlement over $1,000,000. And while you might brush that off as an outlier, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, about 67% of employment claims are ruled in the plaintiff’s favor when taken to litigation.

In most of these cases, the employment claim was the result of an error that could have easily been avoided with having the appropriate HR processes in place. A misplaced or improperly executed document, for example. Or forgetting (or not knowing how to pay) overtime to a team member.

Choosing an HR Solution for Your Dental Practice

You’re paying thousands of dollars a month in malpractice insurance (as you should). But are you putting the necessary focus on and investing in the right resources for HR? You simply would not practice without medical malpractice insurance, and HR serves as a different but equally important insurance policy — one that protects you and your employees.

You might be tempted to assign HR duties to an office manager, clerk, or administrator in your office. However, these individuals simply aren’t well-versed in the specific ins and outs of HR practice and policy. They aren’t familiar with the laws and policies that human resources pros know like the back of their hand. And they certainly won’t be able to help you navigate complex situations that result from employment claims or compliance issues. 

That said, it simply might not be feasible to hire a full-time HR team. HR pros that are good at what they do come with high salary demands, especially if they have dedicated experience in HR for healthcare. 

Instead of taking the time to train an existing team member to handle HR, or investing in half-hearted resources, a dedicated human resources platform and HR Software will be your best bet to automate processes, stay in compliance, and manage daily administrative tasks. 

Are you ready to save money and save yourself some time while you’re at it? HR for Health is dedicated to keeping our clients legally compliant all while boosting employee performance. Learn more about our product features and never hesitate to contact us for an HR consultation.   

About HR for Health 

HR for Health is an all-in-one HR software solution dedicated to helping the dental, optometry, and veterinary industries. Our human resources platform features all the tools practice owners need to manage payroll, timekeeping, 401(k), and more with total integration and ease. 

Whether you’re looking for HR support for a small business or you’re a large group dental practice, HR for Health has the solution to fit your practice and budget. Reach out to a HR for Health account representative to learn more, today: Schedule a Meeting