Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0460-01-.12 - UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Current through March 20, 2022

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 63-5-124, the Board is authorized to refuse to grant a license or certificate to an applicant or to discipline an individual licensed or certified by the Board if that individual has engaged in unprofessional conduct. Pursuant to its authority under T.C.A. § 63-5-124, the Board declares that unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Exercising undue influence on the patient or client, including the promotion of the sale of services, goods, appliances or drugs in such manner as to exploit the patient or client for the financial gain of the practitioner or of a third party.
(2) Directly or indirectly offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving or agreeing to receive, any fee or other consideration to or from a third party for the referral of a patient or client or in connection with the performance of professional services.
(3) Failing to make available to a patient or client, upon request, copies of documents in the possession or under the control of the licensee which have been prepared for and paid for by the patient or client.
(4) Making false or materially incorrect or inconsistent entries in any patient records or in the records of any health care facility, school, institution or other work place location.
(5) Revealing of personally identifiable facts, data or information obtained in a professional capacity without the prior consent of the patient or client, except as authorized or required by law.
(6) Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law, or accepting and performing professional responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform, or performing without adequate supervision professional services which the licensee is authorized to perform only under the supervision of a licensed professional, except in an emergency situation where a person's life or health is in danger.
(7) Delegating professional responsibilities to a person when the licensee delegating such responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified, by training, by experience or by licensure, to perform them.
(8) Performing professional services which have not been duly authorized by the patient or client or his or her legal representative.
(9) Failing to maintain an accurate and legible written evaluation and treatment history for each patient.
(10) Failing to identify to a patient, patient's guardian or the Board the name of an employee, employer, contractor, or agent who renders dental treatment or services upon request.
(11) Failing to report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities, as required by T.C.A. § 37- 1-403(a)(2).
(12) Failing to respond to written communications from the Department of Health, which are sent pursuant to T.C.A. § 63-1-117(a), to make available any relevant records with respect to an inquiry or complaint about the licensee's unprofessional conduct.
(13) Falsifying, altering or destroying treatment records in contemplation of an investigation by the Board or a lawsuit being filed by a patient.
(14) Intentionally presenting false or misleading testimony, statements, or records to the Board or the Board's investigator or employees during the scope of any investigation, or at any hearing of the Board.
(15) Conspiring with any person to commit an act, or committing an act which would tend to coerce, intimidate, or preclude any patient or witness from testifying against a licensee in any disciplinary hearing, or retaliating in any manner against any patient or other person who testifies or cooperates with the Department of Health during any investigation involving the Board.
(16) Violating any lawful order of the Board previously entered in a disciplinary hearing, or failing to comply with a lawfully-issued subpoena of the Board.
(17) Violating any term of probation or condition or limitation imposed on the licensee by the Board.
(18) Practicing with an expired, retired, suspended or revoked license, permit, or registration.
(19) Prescribing controlled substances for a habitual drug user in the absence of substantial dental justification.
(20) Prescribing drugs for other than legitimate dental purposes.
(21) Providing prescriptions for any controlled substances listed in Schedules II, III, IV, and V, as provided in 21 C.F.R. Chapter 2, 1308.12 through .15, to patients with whom no dentist/patient relationship has been established. For purposes of this provision, a "dentist/patient" relationship exists where a dentist has provided dental treatment to a patient on at least one (1) occasion within the preceding year, or exists by having adequate documented knowledge of the specific patient history.
(22) Using or removing narcotics, drugs, supplies or equipment from any health care facility, school, institution or other work place location without prior authorization.
(23) Pre-signing blank prescription forms or using pre-printed or rubber stamped prescription forms containing the dentist's signature or the name of any controlled substances listed in Schedules II, III, IV, and V, as provided in 21C.F.R. Chapter 2, 1308.12 through .15.
(24) Failing to exercise reasonable diligence to prevent partners, associates, and employees from engaging in conduct which would violate any provisions of the Tennessee Dental Practice Act or any rule, regulation, or order of the Board.
(25) Failing to avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence of a patient, including committing any act of sexual abuse, misconduct or exploitation related to the licensee's practice of dentistry.
(26) Termination of a dentist/patient relationship by a dentist, unless notice of the termination is provided to the patient. For purposes of this provision, a "dentist/patient" relationship exists where a dentist has provided dental treatment to a patient on at least one occasion within the preceding year.
(a) "Termination of a dentist/patient relationship by the dentist" means that the dentist is unavailable to provide dental treatment to a patient, under the following circumstances:
1. The office where the patient has received dental care has been closed permanently or for a period in excess of thirty (30) days; or
2. The dentist discontinues treatment of a particular patient for any reason, including non-payment of fees for dental services, although the dentist continues to provide treatment to other patients at the office location.
(b) The dentist who is the owner or custodian of the patient's dental records shall mail notice of the termination of the dentist's relationship to the patient, which notice shall provide the date that the termination becomes effective, and the date on which the dentist/patient relationship may resume, if applicable.
(c) The notice shall be mailed at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of termination of the dentist/patient relationship, unless the termination results from an unforeseen emergency (such as sudden injury or illness), in which case the notice shall be mailed as soon as practicable under the circumstances.
(27) Interfering or attempting to interfere with the professional judgment of an individual who is licensed or certified by the Board. Examples of interfering with the professional judgment of an individual who is licensed or certified by the Board include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Setting a maximum or other standardized time for the performance of specific dental procedures.
(b) Establishing professional standards, protocols or practice guidelines which conflict with generally accepted standards within the dental profession.
(c) Entering into any agreement or arrangement for management services that:
1. interferes with a dentist's exercise of his/her independent professional judgment;
2. encourages improper overtreatment or undertreatment by dentists; or
3. encourages impermissible referrals from unlicensed persons in consideration of a fee.
(d) Placing limitations or conditions upon communications that are clinical in nature with the dentist's patients.
(e) Precluding or restricting an individual's ability to exercise independent professional judgment over all qualitative and quantitative aspects of the delivery of dental care.
(f) Penalizing a dentist for reporting violations of a law regulating the practice of dentistry.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0460-01-.12
Original rule certified June 7, 1974. Repeal filed August 26, 1980; effective December 1, 1980. Amendment filed May 28, 2004; effective August 11, 2004.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-202, 4-5-204, 37-1-403, 63-1-117, 63-5-105, 63-5-108, and 63-5-124.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.

State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.