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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Unethical Private-Equity-Owned Dental Clinics Receive Well Deserved Attention

Unethical Private-Equity-Owned Dental Clinics Receive Well Deserved Attention

It’s been a bad few weeks in the limelight for private equity investors masquerading on the down-low as charity dentists when what they’re really after downloadpdfis making millions by performing unnecessary dental work on poor kids and then getting Medicaid to pay for it. With the way everyone’s acting, you’d think it was the mortgage crisis all over again – as if working class and poor folk were nothing more than pawns in a game played by Wall Street investors, but financed with American tax dollars.

Download the pdf.

Cheapskate, dentist, Dr. Stephen Stein, has Patient Test Positive for Hepatitis C

KUSA TV

DENVER - A 9News viewer, who wanted to remain anonymous, says her husband tested positive for hepatitis C this week after a major health warning from Colorado's Public Health Department.

The positive lab results for hepatitis C, shown to 9News, comes nearly two weeks after 8,000 people received letters from Colorado's Health Department about oral surgeon Dr. Stephen Stein.

Dr. Stein is accused of re-using needles and syringes for days at a time on his patients over the course of 12 years. He had two practices - one in Denver and one in Highlands Ranch.

The 9News viewer's husband went to Dr. Stein for several procedures. His last procedure, done September of 2009, Dr. Stein pulled her husband's wisdom teeth, she said.

She received a letter from the state, much like many of Dr. Stein's other patients, saying her husband should be tested, she said.

The positive results for hepatitis C came from her husband's doctor's office this week, and they have ordered further testing.

Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

"Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms," according to the Mayo Clinic's website. "In fact, most people don't know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests."

The 9News viewer said tests for HIV and hepatitis B came back negative for her husband.

A nurse at her husband's doctor's office said there was no definitive way to link the positive hepatitis C results to Dr. Stein's practice, she said.

A letter from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment warned patients that testing could not determine how or where patients would become infected.

To date, the health department has not released numbers of patients that might be infected after the warnings went out.

Colorado Department of Public Health Spokesman Mark Salley said they are surveying patients and will release numbers of people infected, if there are numbers to be released, next Wednesday.

Small Smiles Job posting full of crapola

REGISTERED NURSE

Small Smiles Dental Centers of South Washington D.C.

REGISTERED NURSE (PART-TIME)

SMALL SMILES DENTAL CENTERS OF SOUTH WASHINGTON DC

SEND RESUME TO: [Click Here to Email Your Resumé]

Are you looking for a fun and fast paced environment (there is that “fast paced” term again. Aren’t they in enough trouble for being so “fast paced”) where you can make a difference in the lives of others? Then join our team at Small Smiles Dental Centers where we fulfill a very special undertaking-providing superior dental care to underserved children and young adults between the ages of 2 and 20. Our company mission speaks for itself - "We give America's kids the smiles they deserve". (they actually trademarked this term)

Small Smiles Dental Centers, the nation's most experienced dental provider (it’s also the nations most bankrupt and most federally investigated) to children who qualify for government insurance and has been named one of Fast Company Magazine’s 2007 (5 years ago!!!)Fast 50 Companies doing good in the world [LMAO!!!]. We have over 60 dental centers (looks like they are down 12 clinics, that’s not “fast growing”, that’s fast dropping!!) in the United States operating as individual practices (they may be operating as, but they are not individual practices, I can’t believe they are still trying to sell this horseshit!) where each team member takes our mission seriously. In order to accomplish that assignment we must hire great people! And we have an excellent opportunity for an ambitious REGISTERED NURSE to grow our state-of-the-art dental center.

Due to our continued growth, (these folks are delusional!, they have lost 12 clinics in as many months! That is NOT growth! I believe these people actually believe their own hype!) are currently seeking a REGISTERED NURSE. This state-of-the-art dental office provides quality dental care to children and young adults. We offer benefits and bonus opportunity! Spanish bilingual preferred.

Responsible for preparing post anesthesia areas for patients, monitoring patients’ vital signs, administering medications, coordinating planned nursing care with other health care team members, assisting in proper preparation of supplies, medications, and equipment, Patient Management, and Treatment Room Management.

(Scary thought of these people putting out the budget numbers, quotas for the number of sedations required each week. For instance Colorado Springs is “budgeted” $600 per day or an average of $12k a month. DC is “budgeted” $550 per day or an average of $11,500k a month, while Pueblo is "budgeted” $23k a month. However, Charleston SC is where they sedate the most, with a target of $53k a month. So when the clinics don’t make these numbers, what do you think happens? )

 

Requirements

•        Comprehensive and current knowledge of nursing theory and practice.


•        Thorough knowledge of and ability to implement principles of aseptic technique.

  • Knowledge of surgical procedures, techniques and consequent nursing interventions.
  • Knowledge of the policies, procedures, philosophies, goals and objectives of ambulatory surgery
  • Minimum of two years post anesthesia experience desired.

•        Ability to approach his/her responsibilities with a rational, reasoned approach.

•        Must be able to organize and prioritize assignments, duties and responsibilities.

  • Must be able to identify, analyze and implement effective problem-solving techniques.
  • Display initiative, flexibility and adaptability in his/her career approach.
  • Ability to maintain a cheerful, poised, professional manner in the face of adversity.
  • Graduate of an accredited school of nursing, licensed as a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse in practicing state, BCLS certified, ACLS certified REQUIRED

We reward, value [they certainly do] and invest greatly in our team members. All full-time team members are eligible for medical insurance, long and short-term disability insurance, dental, vision, and life insurance after 90 days employment. Additionally, we offer paid time off and 8 paid holidays, retirement plan, direct deposit, and promotional opportunity.

To learn more about Small Smiles Dental Centers, please be sure to visit our website at http://smallsmiles.com.

Remember to ask about our Employee Referral Program.

Energy Edge Technologies Corporation to Acquire 100% of Dutchess' Equity in Union Dental Holdings, Inc.

Energy Edge Technologies Corporation to Acquire 100% of Dutchess' Equity in Union Dental Holdings, Inc.

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla., July 31, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Union Dental Holdings, Inc. (Pink Sheets:UDHI) www.uniondental.com/ir -- a provider of multi-state dental services for union members, announced today it was informed by Energy Edge Technologies Corporation (OTC:EEDG) they had entered into a definitive agreement with Dutchess Private Equities Fund, LTD to purchase all of the Dutchess shares of equity, including all warrants in UDHI.

In 2005 UDHI completed and filed a registration statement with the Securities & Exchange Commission for a convertible Debenture and a Senior Note which was all converted into equity via shares of stock and a warrant at a later date. This initial financing was considered by many in the financial industry as "toxic financing" or "Death Spiral Financing" for micro cap stock companies who were trying to build their business models but could not obtain financing in any other manner for their company to go forward other than through the P.I.P.E. (Private Investment in Public Entity) type of financing.

 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Texas Stakeholder’s meeting cover a lot, offered no solutions.

In case anyone missed the Stakeholder’s webinar yesterday. Here is a link to it:  July 27, 2012 Texas Dental Stakeholder’s Meeting

They talked about patient recruiting. They talked about the criminal behavior and the $10k fines for each of the people who recruit each time they approach a person in one of their vans. But I didn’t hear anything about who was going to start stopping these vans and handing out those $10K “patient recruiting tickets”. They also mentioned how illegal it was to “hire” a company to recruit and it was illegal to work as a recruiter.

They talked about the horrors and trauma small children are experiencing at the massive number of low quality dental centers, like Kool Smiles, Small Smiles, All Smiles, The Smile Center. They even mentioned babies being tied down and traumatized by hundreds of Texas dentists who are committing Medicaid fraud. Needless to say they skimmed over that subject as fast as possible. Mentioned a couple of words about standards and tabled it for later discussion, as they have for the past 10 years! Hey guys, it’s still on the table, don’t you see it!

The attorney for the Texas Dental Board admitted they have the power to make the rules, but didn’t say a word about if they planned on enforcing the rules they already have in place or any news ones they might create.

They talked about the $63 thousand dollars the government is handing out to Medicaid providers, and stressed the dentists are in the category. Then they told how to apply, what criteria must be met and I believe someone gave a count of 461 dentists who have already signed up for their piece of the pie. I’m not sure but I thought I heard applause.

 

by BYRON HARRIS
Bio | Email
WFAA

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Updated yesterday at 7:42 PM

DALLAS - As Texas cracks down on questionable Medicaid dental payments, dentists' offices are going dark all over the state.


From 28th Street in Fort Worth, to Eureka Circle in Wichita Falls, to Amarillo, dentists who've already collected money from the state to treat Medicaid patients are now turning away those patients, because the dentists' Medicaid claims are being rejected. There are more than 4,300 Medicaid dentists in the state.


Tens of thousands of patients are affected. In 2010, Medicaid paid for braces on about 80,000 kids in Texas. Treatment commonly takes two years.


Since March, the Medicaid dental is managed by three Managed Care Organizations (MCO's)  which have stiffened standards. One MCO said 91 percent of new claims are being rejected.


Moms whose kids already have braces on their teeth are being told children's braces must come off halfway through treatment, that they must go to another clinic far from home, or that there will be no more treatment whatsoever.


Friday, Dr. John Roberts chaired his first stakeholder meeting as Texas HHS dental director. The old director left after News 8 discovered hundreds of millions of dollars of questionable payments under Medicaid orthodontics.


Dentists learned the three MCO's have different payment rates and differing standards. But the overall impression was that moving forward, the children with braces already on their teeth would receive treatment somehow.


"There are plans in place to continue treatment on patients, to re-evaluate patients, and to complete every patient's braces," said Dr. Robert Morgan of Children's Medical Center in Dallas, who attended the  meeting.
The meeting was also broadcast over the web for reporters and interested parties.


It was not clear how the process would exactly work.
If the state reassigns patients to new dentists, regardless of their original need for braces, it will cost millions for treatment which may have been unnecessary in the first place.


One example is All Smiles Dental Centers, which is being sued by the state for fraud. All Smiles told The Dallas Morning News it is eliminating orthodontic treatment at 13 clinics. One witness in the state's case against All Smiles said 95 percent of the dental chain's claims in a 300-patient sample were fraudulent.
All Smiles did not respond to News 8 efforts for clarification.

Related:

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Mexico Dental Board takes it easy on “Comfort Dental”- yet nails their employees. Same for Perfect Teeth and Birner Dental Management

New Mexico Dental Board takes it easy on “Comfort Dental”, yet nails their employees.

Note in each of these it mentions that the “Comfort Dental” clinic is “owned” by the dentist who is being sanctioned. We know that is pure crapola!  The New Mexico Dental board knows it’s crapola too, but does nothing to the corporation, nothing, nada, zip. 

The dentists are always going to take the fall until you guys get off your asses and speak up! Quit taking an oath to tell the truth and lie about your clinic ownership?  I do NOT understand this! I’m baffled every day by it.

What more can I say that will convince you are your screwing yourself, and your colleagues in the ground! Your chosen profession is going to hell, do something for God’s sake!  Do something for the public’s sake!

Comfort Dental Employee Sean S Phelan, DDS Stipulated Agreement with New Mexico Dental Board

Texas Stakeholders meeting today at 1PM Central time: Orthodontics on the menu.

Click reserve my seat, fill out the form and they will send you a link to the meeting.

http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/news/meetings/past/2012/072712-Dental-Stakeholders-Meeting.shtml

Medicaid Dental System an Ongoing Challenge

Texas Tribune July 27, 2012

While Texas works to fix a system that allowed dental clinics to charge the state millions of dollars in questionable Medicaid bills, dental providers say impoverished Texas children do not have adequate access to care and that the state’s rocky transition to Medicaid managed care is compounding the problem. 

Concerns over the system will be addressed Friday, when the state’s Health and Human Services Commission holds a "dental stakeholders" meeting in Austin. John Roberts, an official with HHSC, said the dental directors of managed care health plans, members of state government and other state officials will address 14 questions previously submitted by dental providers across the state. One topic on the agenda: "Discussion on orthodontic continuation of care for abandoned patients."

Shannon Ash of Lewisville says her three teenagers haven’t been able to get their braces checked by an orthodontist for two months and are using wax to hold off the pain from wires cutting into their cheeks. After the dental clinic that had gotten state approval to put braces on her children shut down, the children’s new orthodontist told Ash that the Medicaid managed care dental plan assigned to her children by the state didn’t think her children’s braces were medically necessary. Therefore, it wouldn’t reimburse the orthodontist for treatments.

“I don’t have money to take care of the issue, or else I would have had it done myself,” Ash said. “If I had known this [would happen], I would have just let my kids’ teeth be crooked.”

After news broke last fall that Texas was paying millions to dental clinics for fraudulent or unnecessary Medicaid activities, such as putting cosmetic braces on low-income children, the state cracked down. The Health and Human Services Department's Office of Inspector General has put 23 orthodontic clinics on payment holds since October while it investigates fraud allegations. And managed care organizations that began administering Medicaid dental plans in March are placing stricter requirements on dental providers to prevent fraud.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gentle Dental dentist has had his license suspended by Iowa dental board; gross malpractice; patients in immediate danger

 

The Gazette

commaleftThe Iowa Dental Board has suspended the license of a local dentist after he allegedly gave a patient too much anesthetic and failed to use proper equipment during a procedure.

Order says Safabakhsh gave patient too much anesthetic, failed to use proper equipment

Masih Safabakhsh — whose listed address matches that of Gentle Dental, 1515 Blairs Ferry Road NE – was charged by the board in December 2011 for “failure to maintain a satisfactory standard of competency, and gross malpractice in the practice of dentistry.”

According to a board order dated July 13, Safabakhsh administered an amount of anesthetic to a patient that “far exceeds the maximum dosage.” The patient was later taken to the hospital for a “medical emergency.” Safabakhsh said he regularly used that amount of anesthetic and said he was unaware of current guidelines for dosage. Safabakhsh also allegedly told staff to change a patient’s record to show he used less anesthetic.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dental coalition pressures HHS for a report on sugar-sweetened beverages and it’s affects on oral health.

A coalition of associations and groups have joined together to ask Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius to commission a report to evaluate the scientific community’s literature and research on sugar-sweetened beverage consumptions affects on oral health.  Story posted at the ADA website.

Why? Do they think someone is lying about sugar being bad for your teeth?

If you google “evaluation of oral effect of sugar-sweetened beverages” I believe you will find this study has been done numerous times! One as late as 2009, heck it’s only 2012. Has sugar changed that much?

Maybe there is a legitimate reason for this request, I’m no expert, nor do I pretend to be. Sound a bit stupid to me, don’t we all know sugar is bad for oral health? Or are we not teaching this anymore?  Maybe this is just something to keep HHS and Kathleen Sebelius’ busy so HHS is not digging into the massive fraud and abuse happening in dentistry today?

Naw, I’m probably wrong, as usual.

No doubt, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is concerned about our children’s oral health, after all they are in front of Congress on a “regularly scheduled basis” with their hand out, telling lawmaker more taxpayer dollars are needed to give children “access to care” so these cavities can be treated as soon as possible. We all know children’s, teeth are highly susceptible to rot over sweets, right?

Heck Bernie Sander’s recently introduced yet another bill to appropriate more money to treat children who they say go to bed at night with “sippy cups” full of Coke.

The issue is so terrible says the AAPD and the Pew Institute that thousands upon thousands of private equity owned corporate dental clinics have spread across the US faster than a Colorado wildfire. All paid for by the taxpayer and all to combat the cavity crisis this country has had since the beginning of time.

Some states such as Texas have doubled their reimbursement for procedures needed to treat these specific problems.

In an effort to end this crisis, the AAPD has turned a blind eye to highly questionable treatment of children’s cavities by dentists, and in many cases have endorsed such treatment – papoose boards, risky sedation etc.

Organizations pleading for the study are:

  • American Dental Association (ADA)
  • Academy of General Dentistry, (AGD)
  • American Academy of Periodontology,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Will Dr. Stein’s patients be compensated? Remember that “tort reform” everyone was so hyped about…?

Guess who picks up the tab if any of Dr. Stein’s patients are infected and any settlement money they might happen to get runs out?

Dentist’s 8,000 patients may never see any compensation from possible lawsuits

Posted on: 6:56 pm, July 16, 2012, by Heidi Hemmat

 

commaleftDENVER — Calls are still pouring into the Colorado Health Department’s hotline, from some of Dr. Stephen Stein’s 8,000 patients who fear he may have exposed them to deadly diseases.

Dr. Stein is accused of reusing dirty needles and syringes over and over again. Doctors say the unsanitary practice could spread blood born diseases like HIV and hepatitis.

But one question the health department’s call center can’t answer is a legal one:  can Dr. Stein’s patients sue him for damages?

Anderson, Hemmat and Levine Attorney, Ethan McQuinn told us, “Yes, they can file a lawsuit.”

McQuinn said all 8,000 of Stein’s patients could sue for emotional distress, and you test positive for HIV or hepatitis B or C, you should be entitled to other damages.

But he said, “most likely it’s not going to be enough money to compensate the amount of people who’ve been affected.”

McQuinn said Colorado has caps on how much money you can get from a malpractice case. And because there are potentially thousands of defendants, the money would have to be split up.

McQuinn also told us in order to win a lawsuit, patients would have to prove they were infected in Stein’s office, “that could be something very difficult to prove,” he said.

And if Stein had fallen on hard economic times, like his run down Denver home seems to suggest, it’s possible he didn’t have malpractice insurance, especially since he hadn’t been practicing dentistry since June of 2011, “if the dentist let his insurance coverage lapse, then while claims can be brought against the dentist personally he may not have money to actually pay.”

MetLife, IMEP and the Raven Maria Blanco Foundation Working Together to Make Dental Offices Safer

Indiana AG files complaint against Muncie dentist nearly two years after drug charges in KY.

MUNCIE — A Muncie dentist’s license to practice is in jeopardy after his conviction on drug charges in Kentucky.

Eric Scott Browning, 610 S. Tillotson Ave., who also maintained a dental practice in Lexington, Ky., was indicted on Aug. 4, 2011, in Kentucky federal court on drug charges.

The charges were filed after Browning documented in patients’ charts that he administered 10 mg of Versed, which induces sedation and amnesia before medical procedures, when in fact he administered only 5 mg and administered the other 5 mg to himself during five months in 2010.

This past December, Browning pleaded guilty to the charges, for which he was sentenced to five years of probation and fined $10,000. The terms of probation require him to participate in a substance abuse treatment program and to submit to periodic drug testing.

Browning’s license was suspended by the Kentucky Board of Dentistry in December of 2010 after it determined he had used the restricted drug for personal use, and after he was witnessed practicing or trying to practice dentistry on Nov. 23 of that year in an “intoxicated state and while under the influence of one or more mind altering substances.”

In November 2010, Browning surrendered his U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency registration.

His license to practice remains suspended in Kentucky, where Browning’s actions were deemed to constitute an immediate danger to his patients.

The Indiana attorney general recently filed a complaint seeking sanctions against Browning’s Indiana license, citing the events in Kentucky.

The attorney general alleges Browning’s illegal use of Versed has a direct bearing on his ability to practice competently in Indiana.

Browning did not return a phone call from The Star Press. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, meaning he has achieved the highest level of education in his field. He provides periodontal and dental implant care to patients in East Central Indiana. He earned a degree from dental school and also completed a residency in periodontics.

Contact news reporter Seth Slabaugh at 213-5834.

Written by
Seth Slabaugh
Eric Scott Browning Indiana Complaint

November 2010 – Browning surrendered his DEA license.

December 2010 – KY Board of Dentistry suspended his license.

August 2011 – Indicted on Federal drug charges.

September 2011 – Pled guilty to charges in US District Court – Kentucky Eastern Division. Signed a 5 year contract the the Kentucky Professionals Recovery Network.

December 2011 – Sentenced to 5 years probation and $10k fine. He is subject to random drug screening and not allowed to even have a beer if he so chose.

May 2012- Deputy Indiana Attorney General Darren Covington files a complaint with the Indiana Dental Board.

 

I was always under the impression that the dental boards took up these issues when dentists has problems in other states and if they found criminal behavior they were the ones who turned it over the to the state Attorney General. This situation seems to be bassakwards.

Kentucky is not quick to pull someone’s dental license so this much have been a pretty darn bad situation. 

Here we are nearly August 2012, and Eric Scott Browning, DDS is still licensed and is still able to practice dentistry in IN.

 

KY Dental license lists address as

Premier Periodontics , 3285 Blazer Pkwy Ste 210, Lexington, KY 40509 (859) 264-1854. Operated as Vance and Browning, DMD, PSC, in 2008. Changed it name to  Vance and Shepherd DMDs, MS, PSC in March 2011, with Gregory Shawn Vance and Anna Dean Vance as officers.  Armstrong Vance Center is also associated with this address.

His KY license number is 8594, and is listed as “suspended”. However when looking for disciplinary action documents it says, “There are no disciplinary documents for this dentist “

Why not?

In Muncie, Indiana 188 miles from Lexington, KY Browning operates Browning Periodontics.

From the website:

Dr. Browning received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Kentucky in 2000.  He went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in 2004.  He then completed a three year residency in Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where he received his Master of Science Degree in 2007.

     In November 2007, Dr. Browning achieved Board Certification in Periodontics, becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.  This is the highest, most exclusive level of certification in periodontology and is achieved by roughly half of the practicing periodontists in the United States.  His Master's Degree thesis focused on the use of a particular bone graft to treat periodontal disease. Dr. Browning is also a published author with publications in the Journal of Dental Research and International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry.  His articles involve a laboratory study detailing the effect of inflammation on periodontal bone loss and a surgical study employing the use of a bone graft material (Puros) in the treatment of periodontal bone defects around teeth. 

     When not practicing dentistry, Dr. Browning is enjoying life with his family- ( and a lot of other things!!) wife, Kimberly;  daughter, Reagan; and son, Ethan.  Dr. Browning is also a competitive rugby player and can be found playing the sport on most Saturdays in the Fall and Spring.  He also enjoys reading, studying history, and traveling.

     Dr. Browning is a member of numerous organizations including the American Dental Association, American Academy of Periodontology, Academy of Osseointegration, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and International Association of Dental Research.

ARTICLES PUBLISHED: 

Evaluation of a mineralized cancellous bone allograft for the treatment of periodontal osseous defects: 6 month surgical reentry. Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2009 Feb; 29(1): 41-7.

Omega 3 fatty acid effect on alveolar bone loss in rats. J Dent Res 2006 Jul; 85(7): 648-52.

Tip leads to Long Island man being arrested for practicing dentistry without a license.

 New York News | New York Breaking News | NYC Headlines

A Long Island man is accused of running a dental practice out of his home despite having no formal medical or dental training. Nassau County police arrested Manuel Carranza, 46, of New Cassel on Wednesday afternoon. Police say they got a phone tip saying he was practicing dentistry out of his house. They say Carranza's home office was equipped with dental equipment and there were also various prescription medications in the home. They also found two electronic stun guns in the office. Police say that Carranza also tried to give them a forged New York State Identification card. Carranza is charged with unauthorized practice, having a forged document, weapons possession, and prescription violations. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Hempstead. Police had scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to release more information about the case.

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/17790434/2012/04/26/police-fake-dentist-arrested#ixzz21YPaEZgd

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dallas Mayor, Mike Rawlings, Allows Dental Clinic Under Federal Investigation Patient Shop at Back-to-School Event

I’m not sure what concerns me the most, that All Smiles is allowed to patient shop, or that the Mayor or his staff didn’t have a clue!

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Updated July 20, 2012 at 5:24 AM

Back-to-school event includes clinic involved in News 8 investigations

WFAA-TV
by BYRON HARRIS
Bio | Email

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Updated today at 5:24 AM

comma-leftDALLAS - Tens of thousands of Dallas schoolkids and their parents turn out for the Mayor's Back to School Fair at the end of every summer, for a chance to get everything from immunizations, to haircuts, to school supplies -- all for free.

It's all donated by dozens of companies for the public good. But one of the sponsors this year, All Smiles Dental clinics, is charged with doing the public immense harm.

The company's been charged by the attorney general with Medicaid fraud, for allegedly billing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for unneeded dental care under Medicaid.

All Smiles declared bankruptcy earlier this year, and settled a fraudulent billing case with the federal government for $1.2 million.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings' office was unaware of the actions until notified by News 8. Rawlings' spokeswoman, Paula Blackmon, said All Smiles has participated in the fair for years.

"Those booth operators and vendors are offered a chance to come back year after year," Blackmon said. "A letter goes out and we allow those individual to participate if they wish."

Vendors pay $2,500 to participate, but the city does not make comma-rightmoney on the fair. The city does not do background checks on the vendors, Blackmon said.

So where does the $2,500 per vender end up?

comma-leftShe said All Smiles will be a participant at the fair on August 4, if it chooses.

"They've not been indicted or tried or found guilty," Blackmon said. "We've allowed them to either participate or not."

The Back to School Fair is a substantial generator of new patients for health clinics. State records show that in the case of All Smiles, for years, most of its patients have been on Medicaid.

E-mail
bharris@wfaa.com
Related:

 

Several states have passed legislation requiring children to get a dental checkup before they enter school – wonder who had that idea. Anyway, it is that time of year, so parents BE AWARE!

I’m not to sure how legal these new regulations are, since it doesn’t make much sense to me to stop a child from an education because they didn’t get a dental check up.

I know folks think I’m some idiot mad woman, and they may be right. But honestly I don’t think I missed anything in school that a dental checkup would have prevented.

And if they – whoever “they” are – have done some study on this, I ask why they study this and not the number of children who have died from anesthesia mistakes and carelessness.

I’m not saying children should see the dentist or get regular checkups, just so we are clear.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Las Vegas Dentist Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

8 NEWS NOW

Posted: Jul 19, 2012 6:42 PM CDT
Updated: Jul 19, 2012 10:55 PM CDT
By Steve Kanigher, I-Team Reporter - email

Las Vegas Dentist Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

LAS VEGAS – A dentist and his office manager pleaded guilty this morning to felony health care fraud for submitting false claims to a labor union's insurance administrator for dental work that was not performed, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.

Mauricio Vargas, 50, and Enoc Adrian Renteria, 33, both of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. They face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 17 by U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.

According to the plea agreements, Vargas as a licensed dentist who operated AV Dental in Las Vegas, and Renteria as his office and marketing manager, conspired with an employee of Laborers Union Local 872 to submit false billing claims to the union. Local 872 is self-insured and contracted with a third-party administrator to adjudicate and pay claims on behalf of union members.

Dr. John G. "Jack" Vondrak’s Sun Orthodontix abandon possible 4,000 patients.

 

EL PASO, Texas – KVIA TV Part 2

sunorthodonixParents of former patients, an attorney and Health and Human Services are claiming a chain of orthodontics clinics are committing patient abandonment.


After Texas Medicaid cut off reimbursement to Sun Orthodonix, amid a fraud investigation by the Texas Office of Inspector General, the chain of clinics in turn cut off treatment to its Medicaid patients still in the midst of orthodontic treatment.

The move has left hundreds of teens and adolescents with braces on their teeth but no doctors treating them.

One El Paso orthodontist estimates up to 4,000 El Paso kids could be affected from the response from Sun Orthodontix and other local clinics which may be doing the same to their Medicaid patients.

Not having a doctor is a hard fact to swallow for two Northeast El Paso teens well into their orthodontic treatment they had be undertaking with Sun Orthodontix.

The pair has fought through the discomfort of braces, the pain of tooth extractions and even the stretching of their mouths by orthodontic devices.
"He ran a fever he was in pain, he didn't eat," the boys' mother Emma Diaz said about her 14-year-old, Issac. "And now it's like we go through all of that and what now?"

Diaz says her sons showed up to their routine orthodontics appointment at Sun's Northeast El Paso location in June, where they were handed letters giving the boys two options: have the braces removed by Sun, or leave the braces on and find another orthodontist.

"It would be considered patient abandonment," Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said. "And it's true for dentists, orthodontists, doctors, it's fairly standard across the medical profession."


A patient contract obtained by ABC-7 from when a teenager first got her braces at a Sun Orthodontix clinic in El Paso reads:
"Good news! Once the braces have been placed, your treatment is fully covered. Even if you happen to lose your insurance, by keeping your monthly appointments, you are guaranteeing that your insurance will continue to pay for services rendered."

But even though the patient kept her appointments, as soon as Medicaid cut its payments to Sun Orthodontix, a subsidiary of National Orthodontix Mgmt, treatment was cut as well.

Sun Orthodontix's attorney, Frank Sheeder, would not address this "guarantee," but he did say the clinics are following the process for terminating and transferring care.

Sheeder says the state pre-approved the treatments, then without warning, put a hold on Medicaid reimbursement five months ago.

In an email, Sheeder writes:
"An orthodontic practice can't reasonably be expected to continue to provide services for free for such a long time."

In the letters to patients, Sun states that it has been forced to lay off more than a hundred employees and four orthodontists.

Still, Goodman says lack of payment should not translate into lack of treatment.
She says doctors have a professional obligation to finish what they started or they could face consequences.

"In those cases where we have an orthodontist, who is accepting Medicaid, put braces on a child or did any treatment, in most cases braces, and now says that because the payment's not there, 'I'm not going to continue the treatment'? We will be referring those to the dental board, who we're working very closely with," Goodman said. "And they've assured us they will move on those cases."

That assurance is not of much comfort to 16-year-old Andy Diaz.
He has had four teeth extracted as per his course of treatment prescribed by his orthodontist at Sun Orthodontix.

He has been left with the braces on his teeth and big gaps where his teeth used to lie.

"If they can at least just close the bottom ones, I'd be happy," Andy Diaz said. "You can't leave a kid with gapped teeth."

They already have, but for how much longer is the real question.

ABC-7's Matt Dougherty spoke with the owner and founder of Sun Orthodontix, Dr. John G. "Jack" Vondrak, when he was in El Paso recently.
Vondrak refused to comment on the record.

From Sun Orthodontix Website:

Dr. John Vondrak is the founder of Sun Orthodontix. His experience as a practicing orthodontist, that spans over three decades, and his commitment to provide families of all income levels with affordable, quality care have been instrumental to Sun's growth and success. Dr. Vondrak continues to treat patients and oversee the training of new orthodontists in Sun's specialized method of treatment.

Dr. Vondrak earned his orthodontic degree from Howard University School of Dentistry in Washington D.C. and completed his internship in oral surgery at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans. Dr. Vondrak received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and served in the U.S. Air Force as a dental officer before entering private practice.

Dr. Vondrak is a past president of the New Mexico Orthodontic Society and a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the Southwestern Society of Orthodontists (SSO), the American Dental Association (ADA), and local and regional dental societies in both New Mexico and Texas.

Dr. Vondrak's wife, Barbara, is herself an accomplished dental professional, who plays an active role at Sun. She holds a Masters Degree in Dental Hygiene Education, has worked as an Accreditation Consultant for the ADA, and has served as chairwoman of the American Dental Hygienist Association's Dental Education Committee.

The Vondraks have two daughters and a son, all of whom live in Texas. Their daughters, Cameron and Clarian, are following in their father's footsteps and are currently enrolled in dental programs. Their son, Greg, is the Project Coordinator for Sun, and their son-in-law, Craig, is the Director of Operations. The Vondraks are the proud grandparents of seven beautiful grandchildren.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Texas Medicaid Orthodontics Mills are abandoning patients–leaving approx. 200,000 children with a mouth full of braces and no one to continue treatment

KIVA-TV El Paso

Big Thumbs Up to Dr. Rick Black for stepping up!

EL PASO, Texas -

Some children are lucky enough to be born with straight, pearly whites, but every year, millions of American families find themselves spending big money on braces.

Braces in El Paso typically run around $5,500 for a three-year orthodontic term.
Medicaid does not pay for cosmetic procedures, but according to Texas Health and Human Services, Texas Medicaid has been paying for cosmetic orthodontics work for years.

Texas Medicaid spent nearly $500 million on orthodontic treatment for children from 2009 to 2010, according to state records.

That is more than all other U.S. states spent on Medicaid orthodontics combined.

The vast majority of the cases paid for by Texas Medicaid were cosmetic cases, an HHSC spokesperson said.

In response to a public outcry and an investigation exposing the spending by WFAA-TV in Dallas, HHSC stopped all payment to some of the highest billers of Texas Medicaid, which a spokeswoman says have committed fraud.

"If they find credible evidence of fraud, where it appears a provider knowingly submitted incorrect information about cases, they can put a payment hold on them," HHSC spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said. "And that's what they've done in this case.

Medicaid does not pay for cosmetic orthodontics, only for cases where the child cannot eat or chew his food properly.

Such cases would be children with cleft palate, Down syndrome, or cases where the child has had severe facial trauma due to an accident.

Goodman says fraudulent claims were made, making cases appear more severe, so that they would pass through Medicaid's approval process.

This scenario happened so frequently, eventually racking up a bill of nearly half-a-billion dollars in three years, Medicaid now admits its contractor reviewing the cases was negligent.

One local group of orthodontics clinics, currently under investigation, has now stopped treatment for around half of their patients.

"We're in the midst of treatment! You're just going to abandon my kid?" Erika Mendoza, mother of a Sun Orthodontix Medicaid patient said.

Marcos Mendoza, 12, had his braces put on by Sun Orthodontix almost a year ago.

His mother said his crooked teeth made it necessary for him to get braces, and she said a doctor at Sun Orthodontix told her the braces would be paid for by Medicaid.

Now that Sun has discontinued treatment to Marcos, Erika Mendoza says she is scrambling to find another orthodontist to treat him.

Sun Orthodontix, with four locations in El Paso, is among several orthodontia clinics being investigated for fraud by the Office of Investigative Affairs.

Sun's location in Las Cruces is not included because the investigation is limited to the state of Texas.

In a statement provided by the company's attorney, Frank Sheeder, Sun Orthodontix blames the mess on Medicaid for signing off on the treatments in the first place.

"Our orthodontists were required to submit forms, x-rays and photographs of the patient to Texas Medicaid before they were permitted to provide treatment," the statement reads. "These abrupt changes make it impossible for our orthodontists, and for many others, to continue to serve children in the Medicaid program."

In the meantime, patients like Marcos are scrambling to find new orthodontists.

ABC-7 called a number of Medicaid-accepting El Paso orthodontists to see if they are taking Sun Orthodontix transfer patients.

All of them said 'no,' except one orthodontist.

El Paso orthodontist Dr. Rick Black says he is already taking former Sun Orthodontix patients -- reevaluating their cases, and resubmitting their claims to Medicaid.

We asked him what he would do if payment was suddenly cut off from a case he had initiated. "I think, Matt, you kind of get what you ask for -- in other words, even in private practice, even though I'm a Medicaid provider and I had a small amount of Medicaid patients before this happened -- I feel an obligation," Black said. "When you start a patient, regardless of what happens, especially money, you are obligated to finish that patient."

It is a practice that Sun Orthodontix is apparently unwilling to honor in Marcos' case.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Want to hear a real crock? …

By Jim Cross
PHOENIX -- An ABC News investigative report found some states require very little for dentists to be certified to administer sedatives to children and that 12 children have died nationally after being sedated by dentists.

Arizona dentists face some of the toughest standards in the nation. Kevin Earle is executive director of Arizona Dental Association and said if parents have fears make sure their dentist is board certified.

"If you go to a board-certified pediatric dentist you can be certain the individual has had proper training. Where the concern lies is with individuals who have not had that extensive training.

"The use of oral sedatives have become much more common in the past 10 years so if you have a general dentist who graduated more than 10 years ago, there is an obligation to have more extensive training before they proceed with using oral sedatives."

Earle said board-certified dentists are trained to deal with any emergency.

"There's a rigorous permitting process that includes having proper equipment on site in case there is an incident and having proper medication in case there's a reaction. The assistants are trained to react quickly in the case of an incident."

"We're lucky here in Arizona that those have been in place for more than 10 years."

Earle said to the best of his knowledge there has never been an incident involving the administering of oral sedation.

Jim Cross, Reporter

Saturday, July 14, 2012

HIV, Hep A, B or Death.. no line not crossed in dentistry out of pure greed.

This blog has spent the last four years trying to drive home the fact that dentistry in the 21st Century is based on greed with little sign of healthcare considered before treatment.  (no, not everyone) but it is becoming the norm. So much so that madness as reported here has become acceptable.  The ADA and most of its members has remained silent.  This is yet another black mark on what was once a noble profession.

There are over 1100 blog posts here about the corners that are being cut and those who are cutting them.  Yet, today I continue to have to report crap like this!  Why? Why does everything lead back to Colorado? This time, Stein's Oral and Facial Surgery and Dr. Stephen Stein.

July 12, 2012
DENVER -- Patients of a Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek dentist were advised Thursday to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C.

CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia began asking questions of the state health department early Thursday and the department made its investigation public Thursday afternoon.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued the advisory urging anyone who was a patient of Dr. Stephen Stein, who practiced oral surgery at his practice in Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek, may have been exposed if they received intravenous medications, including sedation, under Stein’s care between September 1999 through June 2011.

The health department said patients may be at risk if they were seen by Stein during the 12-year period and at these locations:

- September 1999 to June 2011 at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery, 8671 S. Quebec St., #230, Highlands Ranch, Colo. 80130

- August 2010 to June 2011 at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery, 3737 E.1st Ave., Suite B, Denver, Colo., 80206. Patients were also seen at this location by Stein under another name, New Image Dental Implant Center.

The health department said there have been no specific infections linked to these offices, so far.

Investigation Found That Injection Needles Were Reused

The department began its investigation following a report of unsafe injection practices. Upon investigation, it was determined syringes and needles used to inject medications through patients’ IV lines were saved and used again to inject medications through other patients’ IV lines. This practice has been shown to transmit infections.

The investigation continues. State health officials are working with health officials at Tri-County Health Department and Denver Public Health due to the locations of Stein’s practices in those counties.

Practice Closed, Stein Not Practicing

Stein Oral and Facial Surgery is closed. Stein entered into an Interim Cessation of Practice Agreement with the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners at the Department of Regulatory Agencies on June 24, 2011, and currently is not practicing.

In the original action from 2011, the state found “the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action.” Because of privacy issues, the state won’t release details about the complaint to Call7.

Maulid Miskell, DORA Program Director, says that the agency continued to investigate Stein’s practice. In April 2012, the agency notified Colorado Public Health about the Stein possibly reusing needles on patients.

"It’s related but unrelated. It’s hard to talk about. I can’t go into detail, but the information provided to them, as soon as we found out about that information, it was timely reported to them," Miskell said.

Under this agreement, Stein can hold a dentistry license, but he cannot practice because no final action has been taken in the 2011 complaint.

The Highlands Ranch office was purchased by another oral surgeon in September 2011. State health officials have determined that the reuse of needles and syringes on multiple patients in Dr. Stein’s offices did not continue past June 2011.

8,000 Letters Sent Out To Former Patients

CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia reported that 8,000 letters have been sent out to former patients of Dr. Stein. The letters should be received within the next few days, the health department said.

However, records may be incomplete, so any patients who remember receiving IV medications, including sedation, at one of Stein’s offices between the dates listed contact their health care provider to be tested as a precaution.

Patients who are uncertain if they received IV medications should also be tested.

Patients who did not receive IV medications do not need to be tested. Members of the public can call 1-877-462-2911 or visit http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/ for more information.

People infected with viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C may not have symptoms for many years, so it is possible patients might have been infected and not know it. Even though patients who may have been exposed may not feel ill or remember getting sick, they should get tested. Although testing cannot determine where or how someone was infected (at Stein’s offices or from another exposure), it is important to know so treatment can begin.

Health providers who test Stein’s former patients are being asked to report any tests positive for HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C to their county health department or the state health department and to specify the patient was tested as a result of unsafe injection practices at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery. HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are reportable conditions in Colorado, meaning they must be reported to public health authorities.

Former Patient "Angry," Felt "Instant Denial"

Shannon Stamey saw Stein for a dental implant in 2008. She found out about the potential health scare when she read it first on the 7NEWS Facebook page.

"I got on Facebook and saw on 7NEWS that Dr. Stephen Stein's patients should be tested for HIV and Hepatitis," said Stamey. "I immediately, actually, began shaking. I was with my young son. I talked with my husband on the phone. But definitely, instant denial."

Stamey has a weakened immune system and because she receives blood transfusions every three weeks, she already gets tested for HIV and Hepatitis.

"They just tested me in May and said I'm in the clear, most likely, because this was four years ago," said Stamey. "I'm just very angry for everyone else who has to go through this. I definitely can't imagine waiting to go into a doctor's office and get tested and waiting for those results. That would be very stressful."

She also doesn't understand how this could have been going on for 12 years with no one coming forward.

"How could people working in the office not say anything? And I just don't understand why. I mean, I don't know if it was a money thing? I don't think syringes cost that much," said Stamey. "I don't really understand how someone could do that or why you would do that and why no one would speak up for 12 years."

More Info: http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/dc/Epidemiology/dentistFAQs.pdf or call 1-877-462-2911.

Friday, July 13, 2012

In all fairness Malouf did take his business model from the DeRose family in Pueblo, Colorado… and they have their own footballs stadium and city for that matter…

Who said you can’t make any money seeing to the oral health of our nations poor.

WFAA-TV Byron Harris reports:

WFAA

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Updated today at 9:37 AM

DALLAS - The Texas Medicaid dental scandal is moving into a new phase. A construction phase.

One of the dentists charged with fraud in billing Texas taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for unneeded braces on children is in a new spurt of expanding his mansion.

He's building a water park on the property.

It's happening out of public sight, among the high-dollar homes on Dallas' glitzy Strait Lane. All the homes are big here, but the home of dentist Richard Malouf, former majority owner of All Smiles Dental Centers, is even bigger.

Plans for the expansion are on file with the Dallas Planning Commission.
"There's going be a gymnasium, a rock climbing wall," said real estate columnist Candy Evans. "There's plans for a bowling alley upstairs. There's going to be exercise rooms."

The complex, which began taking shape six years ago, began with one chateau. Malouf's Medicaid dental empire was expanding, and he sold a major share to a private equity fund.

Now he's sinking his earnings into a new mansion next door, along with a private Schlitternbahn in the back acreage, along with a second swimming pool to match the one at the original mansion.

All this is happening as two suits charge Malouf with massive fraud, brought by the Texas Attorney General and private attorneys under the False Claims Act.
Attorney Jim Moriarty is one of a consortium of attorneys in the action, led by Waters & Craus in Dallas. They say samples of Malouf's records show that 100 percent of his Medicaid claims were false.

"Frankly, it borders on being obscene," Moriarty said of the mansion expansion. "The taxpayers of the State of Texas paid to build that house, and are paying to expand that house for a guy who claims to have made his money treating the people of Texas."

"I think the only other park I know of is in Jupiter, Florida," Candy Evans said.
That one belongs to singer Celine Dion. A comparison of photos of Dion's estate with those of Malouf's, obtained by News 8, show that Malouf's water park may be bigger.

In Texas, a family's home is immune from seizure. But the lawyers in the false claims action against Malouf say his home may be fair game.

"If that home is purchased with stolen money, or that home is based on money that has been earned by falsehood or deceit, then that home is not protected at all," Moriarty said.

Malouf has several groups of attorneys, since his former company, All Smiles, is in bankruptcy in addition to his pending false claims suit. His most recent criminal attorney did not get back to us.
Related:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who is the new Texas Coalition of Dental Support Organizations?

Five Private Equity firms, who are steadily marking their territory, it’s not a coalitions, it’s a cartel.

TexasCoalition

 

 

Coalition Launched to Protect Texans' Access to Quality and Affordable Dental Care

PR Newswire

AUSTIN, Texas, July 9, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Leading providers of dental office administrative support services today announced a new group called the Texas Coalition of Dental Support Organizations (TCDSO).

Members of the coalition - known as dental support organizations or DSOs - help increase access and lower the cost of dental care for Texans at a time when access and affordability are a critical challenge for many Texas families: Texas currently ranks among the bottom eight states in the number of dentists per 10,000 residents, according to data from Kaiser State Health Facts.

TCDSO members provide vital business and administrative support services - including facility maintenance, supply management, billing, scheduling, accounting, taxes, payroll and marketing - that simplify the process of running a dentist office and enable dentists to spend more time caring for their patients. 

ABC News - Death, Greed at the Dentist: American Children at Risk

abcwhiteBy MEGAN CHUCHMACH (@megcourtney) and BRIAN ROSS (@brianross)

July 12, 2012

RMBF ABC pic

Death, Greed at the Dentist: American Children at Risk

American children are being put at risk by inadequately trained dentists who often seek to enhance profits by sedating their young patients for even routine tooth cleaning and cavity treatments, an ABC News investigation has found.

In many cases, even well-trained dentists have been unable or ill-equipped to handle emergencies with young patients.

More than a dozen children have died after being sedated by dentists, according to the Raven Maria Blanco Foundation, which seeks to alert parents to the potential dangers of the increasingly widespread use of oral sedatives on patients as young as 18-months old.

ABC World News and Nightline to air segment on pediatric sedation dentistry–tonight July 12, 2012

I know, I’ve posted this before and ABC pulled the story. However tonight I have faith it will air. GMA had a teaser about it this morning. Check your local listings and set your DVR’s.

ABCworldnews

nightline

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Richard J. Malouf, DDS adjoining two homes! One $14-mil home isn’t big enough, I bet something else he has isn’t big enough either… Just saying…

Dr. Richard J. Malouf’s over inflated ego is reflected in his newest home addition. He’s adjoining two homes into one, and it will have a “lazy river” ride. I think it may be for practice for his “up the river” ride. But again I’m just guessing. 

Yes, this is the same Dr. Richard J. Malouf whose company stole millions of tax dollars and who has filed bankruptcy. Also the same one who the Texas Attorney General has filed lawsuits against to recover stolen funds.

Looks like Texas taxpayers may have a new “Six Flags Over Malouf” amusement park soon.

Richard J. Malouf, DDS - Adjoining two homes, to include lazy river ride. Practice for "up the river" ride?

Robin Lockwood, DDS pleads guilty in Medicaid fraud scheme with Chad Hoecker owned Ocean Dental Centers

Dentists who are participating in this scheme, at all the dental mills across the country; I didn’t see anywhere in here where Ocean Dental or Chad Hoecker pled guilty did you? Are you guys smelling what I’m stepping in here?

U.S. Attorney’s Office July 11, 2012

  • Western District of Oklahoma (405) 553-8700

OKLAHOMA CITY—Robin R. Lockwood, 44, a dentist from Oklahoma City, pled guilty to committing health care fraud, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Lockwood is a dentist licensed to practice in the state of Oklahoma and was employed under contract by Ocean Dental at offices located at 1610 Southwest 74th Avenue, Oklahoma City. Ocean Dental’s dentists provided dental care to Medicaid-eligible children. The Medicaid Program is a cooperative program that provides federal and state funds to pay for health care benefits for individuals with insufficient incomes to meet the costs of necessary medical expenses. In Oklahoma, Medicaid is administered as “SoonerCare” by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), a state governmental agency. Ocean Dental submitted claims to the OHCA for reimbursement of dentists’ services based on patient treatment notes created by the dentists. Ocean Dental paid Lockwood a percentage of the funds that OHCA reimbursed to Ocean Dental for services she personally rendered.

More Casamassimo propaganda; he needs more money from Medicaid. He says the same crap year after year, and never is enough ever enough. Kinda of like a drug addict chasing the dragon isn’t it.

I’m so sick of people like Paul Casamassimo, DDS spewing his bullshit. He has a vested monetary incentive to mouth off this crap and people just keep right on publishing it. Amazing! I’m sick of him and the elites like him saying people on public assistance are no show losers. And I’m sick of him trying to say the American taxpayer should pick up the bill for doctors who have missed appointments, or empty chairs as he puts it.  Empty chairs may be a problem. Shit, don’t have 14 chairs you need to fill, Dr. Cass-ass! Think about it, you fool! BTW, are you still on the “advisory board” of that child abusing, scumbag company Small Smiles Dental?? If Cassamassimo would stop helping corporations steal Medicaid dollars to line their pockets there might be more money for us to pay for empty chairs and those missed appointments. Of course, that’s just how I see it… and I’m an idiot…so who cares what I think, right?

 

Dentists, Medicaid don't mix
Dental care for poor faces challenges of culture, funding

Marionstar.com

You're at a job interview, so smile. But if you're missing teeth, you're less likely to get hired.

Ohio's Medicaid-eligible population largely ignores dental health, dental professionals say. This means minor problems turn into big problems, which frequently end up with the dentist yanking out the problematic tooth.

Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, seeks to recover millions from Dr. Richard Malouf and All Smiles Dental Centers

In March Dr. Richard J. Malouf agreed to pay $1.2-million to settle fraud charges in Texas. That was just the beginning for Dr. Richard Malouf’s woes.

Dr. Richard J. Malouf and Valor Investment thought they could create enough shell companies to hide their flagrant fraud of the Medicaid system in Texas. They thought wrong.

Initial reviews of records seem to indicate 90% of the services for which Dr. Malouf and Valor billed Medicaid, did NOT meet standards and were unnecessary. In other words, 90% of Dr. Malouf’s income was stolen from taxpayers, not just Texas taxpayers but all taxpayers. (Medicaid is funded with both state and federal funds)

Laws in Texas, as in most states,  say that each defendant is liable for the amount of payment they obtained either directly or indirectly from unlawful acts-fraud. They are liable for:

  • Two times the amount of the payment,
  • Interest,
  • Fees,
  • Expenses,
  • Cost incurred by the AG and the Whistleblower to investigation and recover the stolen funds.

In two Whistleblower suits recently unsealed the following corporations, professional corporations or limited liabilities are named:

All Smiles Dental Centers – ASDC Holdings, LLC owned by Valor Private Equity in Chicago, IL.
All Smiles Dental Center, Inc owned by ASDC Holdings, LLC
All Smiles Dental Professionals, PC – Dr. Adrian Codel
Dr. Richard J. Malouf, DDS
Lewisville Smiles, PLLC
St. Francis Smiles, PLLC
Garland Road Smiles, PLLC
Jacksboro Smiles, PLLC
Jacksoboro Smiles by Wire, PLLC
Valleyview Smiles, PLLC
Plano Minyards Smiles, PLLC
Haltom City Smiles, PLLC
Haltom City Smiles, PLLC
Haltom City Smiles, PLLC dba All Smiles Dental & Orthodontics
Northwest Highway Smiles, PLLC
Fort Worth Smiles by Wire, PLLC
Garland Road Smiles by Wire, PLLC
Garland Road Smiles, PLLC dba All Smiles Dental and Orthodontics
S. Hampton Smiles, PLLC
Park Plaza Smiles, PLLC
Park Plaza Smiles, PLLC dab All Smiles Dental and Orthodontics
Richard J. Malouf DDS P.A
Richard J. Malouf, DDS P.C.
2009 Strait Land Family, L.P.
Camelia Family Limited Partnership
RGS Dental Management Services, LLC
RMAL Holdings, LLC
Discount Dental Supply, LLC
As Property Holdings, LLC
M5 Holdings, LLC
Hypermart Lot 6, LLC
Dr. Raffy Kouyoumdjian

(the guys highlighted should go on a no fly list, they may try to skip the country)

The number of people and companies Greg Abbott has named blows the number entities the Connecticut AG filed suit against in May off the charts – Conn AG files suit against dental practice over billing – 28 named. This would make for a great reality TV series – “Battle of the Attorney General’s” or '”Operation Bring Back the Bacon

Anyway, hats off to Texas AG Gregg Abbott for trying to bring the bacon back home. With any luck at all his office will be covered up with these suits.

 

April 2012 Ellis Whistleblower Lawsuit


June 25, 2012 Whistleblower suit

Castillo Whistleblower Lawsuit

Yes, Malouf is trying to escape these claims by filing bankruptcy. Let’s see how far that gets him in this case. Just remember, Salmon swim up stream.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Story of child abused by ReachOut Healthcare America Big Smiles Mobile Dental Van pulled from MyFox Phoenix website. Why? Someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do!

On June 12, 2012 MyFox Phoenix aired a nearly 10 report on ReachOut Healthcare America’s mobile dental clinic abusing a Camp Verde, AZ special needs child.

Below is what the webpage looked like the day the story aired.

videowashere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the website looks like today, no video investigation to be found.

POOF! GONE!

They did manage to leave up some comments from an under-educated person who calls himself Dale Earnhardt, which is slanderous, to DE, by the way.

myfox10videogone

The promotional post MyFox Phoenix put up on their Facebook page about the story also seems to be missing.

Just after this story aired, I heard that many parents called in with similar complaints, even some insiders contacted Fox 5 ready to blow the whistle on ReachOut Healthcare. So many in fact that MyFox Phoenix was doing a follow-up story with more damning news about ReachOut . It was so explosive they thought it would be picked up by the National network.

What happened, MyFox Phoenix? What did you do with all that evidence of child abuse that came pouring into your station? Why will you not return the Gagnon’s phone calls.

There may be good reason it’s gone, but I’m not finding it!

I think MyFox Phoenix might have some ‘splainin’ to do!

Yeah, it’s quite a story, just wondering if the pulling of this story from the Internet is an even bigger story!

It’s not like this was some little 45 second news story about a fender bender at the corner of Walnut and Main. This was (is) a HUGE story that had been worked on for a very long time! 

So who pressured MyFox Phoenix to remove it…?  Let me guess….

To contact MY FOX Phoenix:myfoxphoenix

KSAZ FOX 10 & KUTP My45
511 W. Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
MAIN LINE: (602) 257-1234
NEWS ROOM: (602) 262-5109
WEB SITES:
www.myfoxphoenix.com
www.my45.com
www.mydatingplacephx.com
MOBILE SITE:
wap.myfoxphoenix.com

 

Viewer Comments & "Had Enough?" Segments:
viewernews@myfoxphoenix.com

(Love this one, “Had Enough”, just not too much it appears!)

Someone unemployed?

 

toothsmiley

Shiela Sawyer Job Hunting

Monday, July 09, 2012

The state of Texas is not done with Dr. Richard Malouf–Orthodontics Fraud King of Texas - and his All Smiles Dental Centers

 

wk



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brandy Dietz
bdietz@waterskraus.com
800.226.9880

Waters & Kraus Client Takes on Dental Medicaid Fraud in Texas

Texas AG Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Dallas Dentist and Dental Clinics
DALLAS — July 9, 2012 — Dallas-based law firm Waters & Kraus, LLP announces that Dr. Christine Ellis has sued Dr. Richard Malouf and several All Smiles clinics, alleging violations of the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.
Dr. Ellis is represented by Waters & Kraus and Jim Moriarty of Moriarty Leyendecker in Houston. Her lawsuit was recently joined by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

"We at Waters & Kraus are proud to represent Dr. Ellis and to be a part of the fight against dental Medicaid fraud," said Waters & Kraus attorney Dan Hargrove. "Whistleblowers like Dr. Ellis represent our best chance to fight serious fraud that drains the public funds and puts important services at risk."

After serving as an auditor for the Office of Inspector General of the Texas Medicaid Program, Dr. Ellis became concerned about dental fraud she had uncovered. When she spoke before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee in April, Dr. Ellis testified to a “flagrancy of fraud that is truly unbelievable." Shortly thereafter, Dr. Ellis filed her whistleblower lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants misrepresented to Medicaid the dental and orthodontic treatment they provided, causing Medicaid to overpay them by many millions of dollars. They allegedly submitted claims for services that were not actually provided or were poorly performed, billed for services that were not medically necessary or were more expensive than those actually provided, and unlawfully recruited patients or paid kickbacks to those who did.

Jim Moriarty, of Moriarty Leyendecker, said, “The courage of Dr. Ellis has shown in reporting these allegations deserves the attention and respect of anyone who cares about public health and the responsible stewardship of taxpayers’ funds. We’re honored to work with Waters & Kraus and Dr. Ellis on this important case.”
If the lawsuit is successful, Dr. Ellis will be entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the recovery, in addition to her costs and attorneys' fees. Whistleblower awards encourage people who know about fraud to come forward. The government relies on citizens like Dr. Ellis to identify and fight fraud.

About Waters & Kraus
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam whistleblower litigation as well as complex civil litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.

About Moriarty Leyendecker
Houston-based Moriarty Leyendecker has represented thousands of consumers in cases involving allegations of healthcare fraud, consumer defects, and securities fraud during the past 20 years.


Brandy C. Dietz | Public Relations Coordinator
3219 McKinney Avenue | Dallas, TX 75204
Toll Free 800-226-9880 | Phone 214-357-6244 | Fax 214-357-7252
www.waterskraus.com