Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Smile Center in San Antonio, Texas Under Investigation

Updated: 9/08 10:04 am

The Smile Center Investigation
Posted on 09/08/2011 by bcollister
A criminal investigation is underway into a chain of dental clinics here in San Antonio that targets children on Medicaid.  This comes after I uncovered complaints of poor treatment at The Smile Center.
The Texas Attorney General now confirms it has launched criminal and civil investigations into The Smile Center.
The Attorney General’s office wants to know if the clinics defrauded Medicaid by billing for dental work that did not need to be done.  I’ve been reporting since February about complaints from parents who say the clinics did unnecessary and shoddy work on their children.
These parents were unhappy with dental work done on their children and paid with millions of your tax dollars through Medicaid.
A representative from the Attorney General’s office confirms it’s Medicaid fraud control unit has 180 bankers boxes of records taken from The Smile Center locations here in San Antonio.  The agency’s civil Medicaid department has also filed a complaint in civil court against the business. But we don’t know what’s in that complaint because it’s sealed.
A local law firm is also just weeks away from filing a massive lawsuit against The Smile Center on behalf of the parents of one hundred former patients.
The Smile Center’s owner, Doctor Stephen Simpton, recently filed a lawsuit against WOAI and myself.  Simpton claims our stories defamed and disparaged him and his business. Simpton did not respond to a request for comment for this report.
The attorney for The Smile Center said in a statement. “The investigation to which you refer is a routine Medicaid audit. It has no criminal implications and is not the result of any prior allegations against Dr. Simpton or The Smile Center.  In regard to the lawsuit to which you refer, Dr. Simpton has no comment other than the litigation will take care of itself.”
I plan on staying on this story and letting you know what happens next in our ongoing investigation.