Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dr. Gajender Ahlawat, Youngstown Ohio Small Smiles Dental – Rip Van Winkle?

Imagine being with your child who is undergoing a dental procedure and you begin to hear an odd, yet familiar sound usually reserved for the bedroom.

No, not the moan of two people having sex, yet I’ve heard that would not be that unusual at a Small Smiles clinic either…

Not this time though…  This time it was snoring!

Yes, it’s true, or so I am told and I believe this report completely truthful and accurate.

I was told, and there later was a substantially solid confirmation that, Dr. Gajender Ahlawat, decided to take a nap right in the middle of a procedure on a child at the Small Smiles in Youngstown, Ohio,on June 11, 2010.  Officially, I suppose it was not in the middle of a procedure, it was while the dental assistant was trying to calm the scared child.   How a dentist could fall asleep at this exact  moment is beyond my comprehension but it did happen.

Was he asleep or drugged up and passing out.  We may never really know since it is reported by an anonymous source that a drug test did not take place until June 22, 2010.  A full five days after I raised the issue on this blog. Dr. Anlawat says he was not sleeping, only grabbing 40 winks.   He was reprimanded by a "documented verbal warning".  Nothing more.  

  The dental assistant who was present was able to drag his tired ass out of the room, locate the lead dental assistant (LDA) who in turn replace Rip Van Winkle with another dentist in the office and got the procedure completed.  But the mother of the child was not very pleased as one might guess and later called the Office Manager to complain.  

Of course the dental assistant had to fill out a report, after all they are under a FEDERAL Corporate Integrity Agreement.  The LDA discouraged this and told her she could not report he was sleeping.   

Dr. Mike, the lead dentist at the Youngstown, Ohio clinic was off that day and Brandy Rossi, the office manager, sent an email to Dr. Kevin Rilley, SVP-Operations telling him about a phone call she had received from a very upset mother. 

I know everyone is shocked that the knee jerk reaction at a Small Smiles clinic was to cover up the incident. (sarcasm)  But they, being FORBA, should know by now, there are no secrets, well…none that stay a secret anyway.  I guess FORBA should just walk the line, treat their employees better and not have to worry about things like …  oh…  say ….  me!
I believe the report was initially made as it happened, of Dr. Ahlawat falling asleep, but was that report edited?  (squinting eyes, scratching chin and forehead wrinkled).  The answer is not really, it was finally reported to Dr. Rilley but only after the mother called and spoke with the Office Manager.

Did the report get lost somewhere between the assistant’s hand and the Independent Review Organization (IRO) or say the Inspector General’s office at Health and Human Services?  We may never have the answer to this one.  Those reports are usually marked FOIA Exempt  so getting them via the Freedom of Information Act may not be possible.

Did it even make it to Corporate Headquarters?  Yes it did. 

FORBA just can’t get it all together.  This time, they did let the mom of the child come back with the child, but the friggin dentist fell asleep!  Jesus!  What is the damn problem?
Dr. Ahlawat is a graduate of NYU, worked in Georgia for a while and practiced at Allcare.

First, dentist fell asleep and the assistant told lead assistant
Second, Lead Assistant discouraged associate assistant from writing the report.
Third, the mom calls the Office Manager to report the issue to the HBIC (head bitch in charge). 
Fourth, HBIC tells SVP-Operations
Fifth, SVP-Operations tells Angela Newberry, the great Patient Advocate (PA).
Sixth, PA tells Allison Luke, the exciting new SVP- of Compliance.
Seventh, SVP-Compliance handed down the sentence of a documented verbal warning (DVW)

updated September 18, 2010