Smile Starters, formerly known as Medicaid Dental Centers, first made the news in North Carolina in 2003. 10 years later, little that has changed, other than its name and signage.
Reporter, Diane Wilson, with the ABC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, NC reports on continued fraudulent diagnosing practices Smile Starters Dental Centers in North Carolina. You can contact ABC’s “Troubleshooters” at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen for the usual Medicaid dental mill “buzz” words and phrases, such as: “Corporate”,“Chief Dental Officer”, “Do Not Allow Parents Back with the Child” and “Lead Dentist”.
End of EyeWittness ABC Channel 11 Report
However unlikely it is for the North Carolina Dental Board to take action, it is still extremely important a complaint is filed and on record, so to speak. To file a complaint with the North Carolina Dental Board click here.
What they couldn’t tell you in the report:
Smile Starters and the dentists who work there, are very much familiar with the North Carolina Dental Board and visa-versa. With the new regulations in North Carolina on how dentists and management companies operate, maybe the dental board could take a look at Smile Starters and Root Dental Management and expose the truth behind the true ownership of Smile Starters Dental Centers.
Smile Starters Dental Centers have operated under Medicaid Dental Centers (MDC), North Carolina Dental Centers and Smile Starters. As reported above, Dr. Ralph Rivera was Smile Starters Chief Dental Officer under the prior ownership of Dr. Michael A. DeRose and Dr. Letitia L. (Tish) Ballance. Although it would be hard to prove outside a legal setting — where documents would have to be produced — I whole heartedly believe Michael A. DeRose sill owns and controls these dental clinics. Being that Michael A. DeRose has had his license revoked and is also listed on the governments LEIE (List of Excluded Individuals and Entities) list, it would be highly illegal for him to own a dental clinic or received monies from Medicaid or Medicare, directly or indirectly. If he maintains any ownership, it would have to be masked by a few layers of corporations, and the DeRose’s are good at that game, or at least think they are.