Thursday, February 09, 2012

Pennsylvania Dentist Disputes Failure to Register Dental X-ray Machines

Browser Center for Advanced Dentistry

This story seems confusing, especially since the dentists have signed a consent decree.
A Springettsbury Township dental center was fined recently by the state's Department of Environmental Protection, but an owner of the facility maintains the state is mischaracterizing the offense.

Bowser Center For Advanced Dentistry, 2161 E. Market St., must pay $12,840 for failure to register X-ray machines that were used to evaluate dental patients from 1992 through 2010, according to the DEP.

X-ray machines must be registered with DEP for inspection to make sure they comply with the Radiation Protection Act, which authorizes the agency to monitor X-ray equipment operation and procedures to ensure safety, said DEP South-central Regional Director Rachel Diamond.

The center was issued a notice of violation last September for failing to register X-ray machines with the state, said DEP spokeswoman Lisa Kasianowitz.

She said the machines were not inspected for those 18 years, but the DEP doesn't believe any harm was caused to patients. The dentists have since corrected the violations and are now in compliance with regulations, she said.

Center co-owner Dr. Carl Bowser said the $12,840 fine reflects the retroactive cost of registering the machines, which he concedes had not been done. But Bowser maintains the machines had been inspected all along.

He said the registration failure was a result of paperwork confusion, but the DEP continued to inspect the machines and never found any problems with them.
I realize the fine is very large, but we are talking about many years where the x-ray machines were not registered - 1992 through 2010!

Since the dentist owner signed a consent order and obviously agreed to pay the fine, the issue really is over.

But, a word to the wise dentist, comply early with the state government regulations in your state.

If you don't like the regulations and the fees involved, lobby your state legislators to get the law changed. But, in the meantime, fill out the forms and pay the registration fees (taxes).

If you don't the state will get you. Then, you get the bad PR and often times have to pay penalties.

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