Monday, June 22, 2009

Smile Starter and the EEOC

I've not been able to confirm this but I did receive an email reporting that Smile Starters in North Carolina, the same company fined $10 million dollars for medicaid fraud in 2008 are back under federal investigation once again. Only this time it's for discrimination.

Smiles Starters was originally owned and operated by Michael A. DeRose and Letitia Ballance, but soon after investigation for fraud, over treatment of children (doing root canals and crowns on perfectly good teeth, sometime up to 16 at one visit) they supposedly sold the clinics to Dr. Raf Rivera, but that sale remains in question since Dr. Raf was an employee of DeRose and Ballance. Many think DeRose still has his hands in that business.

Both Dr. DeRose and Dr. Ballance were sanctioned by the North Carolina dental board. Dr. Ballance went on to open more medicaid dental clinics, one in Waynesville, NC going under the name of Carolina West Dental.

Why she (Dr. Ballance)is still allowed to bilk medicaid and earn a living using the medicaid system in North Carolina is a question the baffles those who know about it. In fact it is baffling why either of these dentist still have a licenses to practice dentistry in ANY state, and certainly baffling as to why they are not in jail.

Wheather FORBA (of Small Smiles) fame is still associated with these clinics is also in question. At times over the past couple of years, Dr. DeRose has made mention he still owned them, and other times he's stated he sold them with Small Smiles to FORBA. But if asked FORBA will tell you they don't 'own' any dental clinics, they only manage them.

Here is the email I received"

Yes, Smile Starters is back under the eye of the Federal Government. Now they are under investigation for employee discrimination. Look into the EEOC, there are three counts of discrimination against them. They are now firing their most experienced staff and replacing them with unexperienced staff for half the salary. I assume they are trying to make up for the $10 million they had to dish out for Medicaid fraud.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dr. Steven Adair Talk Tooth Decay to USA Today

This one just cracks me up. Seems Dr. Adair talks to USA today about tooth decay and children drinking so much soda.

That would be all fine and good except he should tell that to the co-owners of FORBA: Dr. Michael DeRose, Ed DeRose and mostly Dan DeRose. Dan because he's the guy who marries school systems with cola and junk food companies to put those drink machines in the schools.

Hypocrites!

Atlanta's Fox 5 I-Team's Randy Travis' Report On Kool Smiles

video

ATLANTA (MyFOX ATLANTA) – Kool Smiles was once the leading provider of dental care for Georgia's poor. Last year the company lost two major contracts the dental chain is still answering questions about how it treats its young patients. FOX 5's Randy Travis reports.

Link To Report

You gotta just love this Dr. Strange dude. They always have the right answer don't they. Sounds like a script doesn't it?

Same ole story from the corporations isn't it; underserved, not fair to compare our stats to other dental service providers, and people with children on medicaid don't brush their teeth.

WAVY TV Report Video

WAVY TV Kool Smiles Report, by Derrick Rose




video

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.


_______________________________________


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





Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yes, Small Smiles is Now Hiring in Phoenix

Looks like I was correct about the job openings in Phoenix...LOL. This was posted today, just one day after the release of the videos in the prior post.

Small Smiles in Phoenix

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Appears To Be Small Smiles Employees In Phoenix Having a Bit of Fun

Here are the videos that were sent to me.

After posting the links to these videos from youtube user je3579 in a previous post I sent them on to Mr. Todd Cruse, of FORBA (Nashville, TN and Pueblo, CO) who operates the Small Smiles clinics, for review. I guess they were from the Small Smiles clinic in Phoenix since they disappeared almost immediately, I wasn't sure at first but since they were removed from the user account within an hour of passing them along my guess is they were in fact Small Smiles employees have a bit of fun. Until Mr. Cruse had them removed, there were several more videos, some with a dancing Santa and more.

I'm just guessing but I bet there are some job openings this afternoon in case anyone is interested in joining such a fine organization.

I sure wish I had the video of Jamie eating the banana from between the legs of the guy. The stars of the show were said to be Jamie-the dental hygienist Alex-the dental assistant and Dr. Karen Chu the lead dentist of Phoenix, AZ Small Smiles.

Don't you just love stupid people who would do this at work and post it on the Internet. Makes you wonder if FORBA checks to see if people have brains before they are hired. Anyway, as you could clearly see the dentist that briefly appears in one of the films could care less about what his employees are doing. I wonder who is behind the camera.

Way to go Jamie!

Your tax dollars at work, folks. Yep, these clinics are a glimpse into socialized medicine. See, these clinics operate solely on your tax dollars through SCHIP programs in various states. They treat low income (or as FORBA calls them, "underserved") children and receive medicaid dollars from your state.









Here is one of the comments that was posted anonymously:

I know of all these employees personally and I can tell you that Dr. Karen Chu the owner and Lead Dentist of the Phoenix Small Smiles had dared the dental hygienist Jaime Evans and the dental assistant Alex Corral to post this video on You Tube. The Pediatric dentist Dr. Quentin Shaw also thought these videos were funny and is in the Chicken fight video. This all happened when patients were in the office being treated.
As was said to me and I shall repeat it: "People really need to be tested before they are hired by FORBA Small Smiles"!!



6/14

DENTISTS
DENTISTS, HIRING now in SC. Paying a SIGNING BONUS in FLORENCE! Offering excellent guaranteed salary & benefits, including 100% paid health, 401K, Paid Vacation & more. New Grads & General & Pediatric Dentists are encouraged to apply. Fax or email resume to Jenna at 719-584-7696 or Questions? Call 719-562-4462.

Anyone At FORBA Small Smiles Willing To Comment On These?

I'm told these are the people who are treating the children in Phoenix, AZ. I sure hope this is not the case.

If you click on these videos now, they are gone! I sent them to Todd Cruse this morning and asked about them. I guess that proves they were from the Small Smiles clinic doesn't it, cause within an hour every one of them were gone.

All were sent to me but I don't have a copy of the worst one where the dental assistant is eating a banana from between the male's legs. It was titled Jaime really likes Bananas (They made me do it Dr. Karen).

Stars are Jamie-the dental hygienist Alex-the dental assistant and Dr. Karen Chu the lead dentist of Phoenix, AZ Small Smiles.






Monday, June 01, 2009

Things Too Quiet On FORBA Small Smiles Investigation

Just returned from a trip to New York City, I'm not going to say weather it was totally business or not but I can say Small Smiles and FORBA's name came up at a few gatherings.

Most of us who have known that medicaid Inspector Generals in several states have been investigating the fraud and child abuse at FORBA's Small Smiles Clinics are starting to wonder if they are just going to let this pass by without prosecution. It's sure starting to look like it. We are hoping that our government protects us better than that, but one just never knows.

To any of the local Investigative reporters out there, maybe it's time for a follow up story. We have to stay on this or we all know what will happen, NOTHING!

I'm not exactly sure but I think there is an attorney out there who would love to take this on. See the term 'qui tam'.