Friday, June 19, 2009

Small Smiles Receives 4 Million in Reimbursement in Wichita

video
(note that once again, the powers that be at FORBA, Al Green, Michael Lindley, Todd Cruse or any of the DeRose's are no where to be seen)


March 25, 2009
by Michael Schwanke (WICHITA, Kan)
Contact FactFinder 12 at investigators@kwch.com or 316-831-6166

Small Smiles Dental Clinic is among the top three providers of Medicaid dental services in the state.

It received more than $4 million in the last two years. That's about six percent of all Medicaid reimbursements for dental services.

"It was money, money, money. It was not about the health or the welfare of the children, it was get as much money as you can," says a former Small Smiles employee who wanted to remain anonymous.

She worked for the clinic in 2005 and was fired after about year.

She called us after seeing our initial story.
We talked to three Wichita families told us about their experiences with Small Smiles. They accused the clinic of performing unnecessary dental work, not explaining procedures, and traumatizing their little girls.

The former employee says what the parents told us happened all the time. She also says the clinic had to meet quotas.

"Every single morning that's what our meeting was about...money and how much we needed to produce that day."

But since 2005 Small Smiles says changes have been made. There are no longer quotas, and patient care has improved.

"As I did mention before we have changed policies. We're doing everything possible to make sure parents are involved in the care of their children allowing them to be in back with their children, creating an 800 number to get in touch with us and making sure dentists take the time to talk to parents about the treatment their children are going to receive at Small Smiles," says Small Smiles spokesperson Don Meyer.

Despite those changes, the story has caught the attention of the Kansas Health Policy Authority. That's the agency that oversees Medicaid.

It tells us it is aware of the concerns voiced by parents, and that every grievance reported to them is investigated.


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Comments:


Nikki:

The have not changed since 2005. In 2006 my daughter was there to get some cavities filled. She was 4 yrs old at the time. All they did is cap over the cavities without taking them out. 6-7 months later my 4 yr old had to have 12 teeth pulled out.... 1 every few weeks because her teeth that she got filled were absessing one by one. And they also never let me go back with her. I think it is horrible that just because i get healthcare from the state my daughter doesnt matter. Everyone says there is nothing I can do. My little girl had to suffer for almost a year. And there is no way for any lawyer or even small smiles themselves to make this right? She still has 2 spacers in her mouth from it. Small smiles needs to be closed down before they have a chance to hurt anymore children. Just because im not rich doesnt mean my child doesn't deserve better.


Jennifer:

I have three young daughter, whom two have been attending small smiles dental clinic for the past 3 years. Both of my daughters have had several things done (7 yrs old and 5 yrs old). I have had my doubts for the past two years, but since I have medicaid for them i had no where else to turn to. I called a place here is town a pediatric dentist about a year ago and they did not take medicaid. I just happen to make that call again about a month ago and found out that they now take medicaid. I took in my daughter for a regular check up and I am very sad to say they have to REDO and put my child to sleep to fix the work small smiles has done to my daughter....this is not just one small thing she is going to get several things done....I am so MADDDDDDDDD. How could I let this happen to my child. I trusted them. One thing I can not understand is how could they bill for things they never did or have done things they should not have done??? where do you turn to? Who is going to listen? At this point I just want my child to get the care she needs. I think Medicaid people just get swept under the rug...because never the less we are getting Meidcal help with little or no cost...so we should just be thankful...that should not be the case. I think this place preyed on the Medicaid patients and it needs to stop.


Edie:

hello i just saw your story on small smiles dental clinic and i have to tell you i have been takin my girls there since @ 2005.....and i have never had any trouble with them.my girls have never been scared to go there and the staff has always been courteous and helpful..answering any questions i have had regarding the treatments and procedures on my children.they have also always welcomed me to come in the back and watch if i so desired....i live over 100 miles away and have no problem driving that far for the care my children receive....they are usually pretty accommodating if my children need additional services other than cleanings to get it done that day so i do not need to make additional trips....i believe as with any dentist there are going to be some patients who just do not care for the service they receive...children and adults are usually apprehensive about dentists i know i am....but i believe there as been no wrong treatment in the care of my children's dental needs...thank you...edie haskell





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