Saturday, June 29, 2013

77 patients of W. Scott Harrington, DDS test positive for Hep C, 5 for Hep B and 4 for HIV

Public Health Investigation of Tulsa Dental Practice OKgovof W. Scott Harrington

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TULSA, OK – [June 27, 2013] – 

Tomorrow is the final day for former patients of W. Scott Harrington’s dental surgical practice to receive free testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection, the Tulsa Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health announced today. Although free screening clinics will conclude tomorrow, the epidemiological investigation continues.

On March 28, public health officials advised they were notifying current and former patients of W. Scott Harrington, DDS. that they may have been exposed to blood-borne viruses at Harrington’s Tulsa and Owasso offices. Health officials recommended these patients have their blood drawn for testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection at free screening clinics established at the Tulsa Health Department, Oklahoma City-County Health Department and other county health departments in the state.

To date, 3,991 people have visited county health departments throughout the state to have their blood drawn for testing. An unknown number of persons have sought testing through their private health care provider. The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory has completed testing for 4,087 persons as of 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. The discrepancy is due to the lab also testing people from other states, private physicians and local county health departments.

Today the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Tulsa Health Department report one additional HIV positive result and three additional hepatitis C positive results since the last situation update. Therefore, 77 patients have tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and four for HIV.

Those persons whose tests are positive are being personally contacted and counseled about information specific to the disease for which the test was positive, and they will be directed to resources for appropriate care and follow up. If warranted, testing will be recommended for a spouse or partner. Patients with negative test results who had dental procedures in the Harrington clinic between Sept. 20, 2012, and March 20, 2013, have been advised to return for follow-up testing at least six months past the last dental clinic date at the Harrington practice. Those patients will still receive follow-up testing at no cost. Screenings will be provided Monday-Thursdays by appointment only.

This is the last weekly situation update issued by the Tulsa Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health regarding this investigation. Subsequent media releases related to the public health response to the infection control practices of the Dr. W. Scott Harrington dental surgical practice will be issued as needed and at the conclusion of the epidemiological investigation.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Antoine Dental Centers Creditable Allegation of Fraud (CAF) Hearing

If you haven’t read part 1 of “Ho” Down in Texas I suggest you do so before continuing. Read it here

The group calling themselves Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform posted only two cherry picked depositions on their website in relation to the Antoine Dental Centers State Office of Administrative Hearings(SOAH).  TDMR again portraying the fraudsters as victims, just like they tried to do with Harlington Dental.  Posted on the TDMR website were Dr. Larry Tadlock’s deposition and Jack Stick’s deposition.  Dr. Tadlock was the expert witness for the state.  Mr. Stick is the Director of Enforcement at OIG. You can catch up on TDMR here.

I guess TDMR didn’t want people to read the actual hearing transcripts, and I can certainly understand why.


Texas cracking down on unnecessary dental treatment

FrotnlineTexas Law Cracks Down on Unnecessary Dental Treatments

June 27, 2013, 11:55 am ET by David Heath Center for Public Integrity

A new Texas law will give regulators more power to crack down on dentists performing unnecessary treatments, especially on children.

A spokesman for the bill’s author — Republican State Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst of Brenham, Texas — said the law came about largely because of a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and PBS Frontline. The investigation revealed a pattern of questionable practices by Kool Smiles, a chain focused on Medicaid-provided dental care for children. The spokesman also credited independent reporting by Dallas station WFAA-TV on Medicaid fraud.

The joint investigation by the Center and FRONTLINE, titled Dollars and Dentists, quoted former employees who alleged that dentists at Kool Smiles were encouraged by company production standards to put more expensive stainless-steel crowns, rather than fillings, on cavities in baby teeth. Kool Smiles denies those allegations.

“As a mother of two children, I was shocked to learn that in 2010 there were estimated to be over 15,000 Texas children who were given inappropriate dental care, including braces on baby teeth,” Kolkhorst said in a statement.

Kolkhorst said only one dentist has had his license revoked for Medicaid fraud or patient complaints in the past two years. “That’s just not acceptable,” she added.

The law beefs up the ability of the state dental board to investigate complaints. It also gives parents the right to be in the room with their children while they are at the dentist.

In addition, dentists working for corporate dental chains are required to report information about the chains to the dental board. Currently, the state maintains no information about dental chains.

Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill last week. It takes effect on Jan. 1.

Watch Dollars for Dentists

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dental crisis continues according to Pew

Fantastic!(sarcasm) yet another Pew report.  This time they are attempting to divert their support from Medicaid corporate dental fraudsters to Midlevel Dental Providers (MLP), but none the less, there is still a crisis!  Funny thing about this, these MLP’s are mostly employed by corporate dental fraudsters too.

Pew Report

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Menace to Society–Dr. Thomas Floyd–finally stripped of dental license, but should be UNDER a jail!

Posted: 06/12/2013

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Former West Palm Beach children's dentist Thomas Floyd has pleaded guilty to charges that he abused a 4-year-old boy he was treating in his office. Floyd was arrested last September by the West Palm Beach Police Department.

Thomas FloydFloyd has agreed to relinquish his dentist license in Florida and will not practice dentistry anywhere in the United States. The agreement calls for 150 hours of community service. The state also agreed not to pursue additional charges against Floyd from any other known victims from his former dental practice.

The case was investigated by the Department of Health which indicated that were numerous incidents of child abuse over the past two years.

According to the investigation released by the Department of Health, “Floyd’s behavioral control methods with his patients fall well below acceptable standards of practice in treating pediatric patients.”

A patient claimed Floyd punched a 4-year-old boy during a routine dental procedure. The child suffered swelling, abrasions, and bruises on his lips, according to West Palm Beach police.

A witness stated after the boy bit the doctor, Floyd used a drill and the palm of his hand to force a dental instrument into the child’s mouth, causing the injuries.

The Health Department received an anonymous complaint stating Floyd abused children in his office “by putting his hand over their mouths and calling them names.”

On another occasion, Floyd reportedly prevented a child from screaming by stuffing a dental bib into the child’s mouth, the Health Department report stated.

Read more:

Friday, June 07, 2013

Shifting Income is Shifty Business

Found this and thought it should be preserved and shared. Sounds like ole Dr. Elick tried a little DSO maneuvering.

Peter J Reilly, Contributor

imageDental Management Company Did Not Do Any Managing


Many accountants have a touching faith in double entry.  They think that you can move income from one related entity to another with magical journal entries.  Management fees are among the favorites.  That type of magical thinking was probably behind the unfortunate result in the recent Tax Court decision in the case of Wiley and Sharon Elick and Wiley M. Elick, DDS Inc.   Doctor Elick practiced pediatric dentistry, which can be pretty lucrative. It takes a certain flair to keep the kids happy. Doctor Elick was also involved in a center called SurgiTek.

Let’s Have An ESOP

An ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) can yield all sorts of nifty benefits, significant income deferral being among them.  We can’t tell from the case the exact benefits Dr. Elick hoped to reap from an ESOP, but there must have been something.  It is not mentioned in the case, but there was a legal problem to overcome.  Professional corporations generally can only have licensed professionals of that particular profession as shareholders.  ESOPs are neat vehicles, but you can’t teach them how to do fillings, so they can’t be shareholders in dental professional corporations.

The solution was to form a dental management company:

A professional advised Dr. Elick to establish a company to manage petitioner’s operations. A stock ownership plan benefiting petitioner’s employees would purchase the company stock from Dr. Elick. The fees generated by management services would fund the employee benefit plan.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Dr. Gary Anusavice, DDS pleads guilty in CT–Should have been jailed and key disposed of years ago.

Ex-dentist pleads guilty in $20M Medicaid scam

Dr. BicuspidBy DrBicuspid Staff

June 5, 2013 -- A former Rhode Island dentist who lost his license in the state and in Massachusetts over charges of Medicaid fraud has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and tax evasion in Connecticut in connection with a $20 million Medicaid fraud scheme.

Gary Anusavice, also known as Gary Andrews, Gary Andrus, and Gary Francis, of North Kingstown, RI, pleaded guilty June 3 before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel in Bridgeport, CT.

According to court documents, in July 1997, Anusavice was convicted in Massachusetts state court for submitting false healthcare claims in relation to his involvement in dental clinics. He subsequently surrendered his dentistry licenses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for five years.

After additional investigations, in 2005 Anusavice surrendered his right to practice dentistry in Rhode Island for 18 months, and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry permanently revoked Anusavice's license to practice dentistry in Massachusetts in 2006. As of May 1998, Anusavice has been excluded from participating in Medicare and state healthcare programs, including Medicaid…

Continue reading at Dr. Bicuspid


Dr. Gary Anusavice – Select Dental Woes May 2008 

The Secret Service is investigating a disgraced dentist and at least two of his business associates in connection with the abrupt closure of Select Dental in Howard Beach in November, the Daily News has learned.

The dental practice, known for its once-ubiquitous ads on cable TV, allegedly targeted clients without insurance and financed their dental work with medical credit cards.

Customers were apparently billed for exorbitant fees - as much as $25,000, all up front - for poor and incomplete dental work. Then the company skipped town.

Read more:

Dr. Gary Anusavice – Rosewood Dental Woes October 2007

"I have no teeth back here," Harrison said. "And I'm out $12,000."  CBS 2 has obtained records showing the man apparently behind the operation had his dental license suspended and later revoked in other states.

His name is Gary Anusavice. Charges with licensing agencies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island included providing unwanted dental services, credit card fraud, bait and switch, and billing patients for services not delivered.

Vincent O'Neill, Rosewood’s district manager,  told CBS 2 that Anusavice hired him to open the clinics in Illinois saying, "He's the man, the man behind it all."

Continue reading at Dental Clinic Left Patients Toothless And In Debt | NowPublic Photo Archives

Monday, June 03, 2013

“Ho” Down in Texas – James W. Orr, DDS Testifies for Antoine Dental Center

Free BracesWho can forget the reports by WFAA’s Bryon Harris, which spurred investigations in to orthodontic Medicaid Fraud by the State of Texas?
In the fall of 2011 and continuing today, The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Inspector General put Credible Allegation of Fraud (CAF) payment holds on a covey of dental clinics; some general dentistry and some orthodontic clinics.  

Deciding not to take this sitting down, a few of these highly suspect dentists decided to take it to court; appealing to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

Dr. Juan Villarreal, owner of Harlingen Family Dentistry, a Scientologist  and a former  member of Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) appealed the HHSC decision for his CAF payment hold.  In a ruling by the SOAH in October of 2012, Villarreal/Harlingen Family Dental’s payment hold was reduced from 40% to down to 4%.  The ruling for Harlingen was further upheld by an HHSC Administrative judge in January of this year (2013).  Villarreal also heads up Texas Dentists for Medicaid Fraud Reform (TDMR). 

The judge’s ruling in the Villarreal case, by the most part, was based on the testimony of one Dr. James W. Orr.  This favorable ruling no doubt was the impetus to others, like Antoine Dental Centers and M & M Orthodontics in appealing their CAF payment holds. 

One last thing, before we move on — WHAT is the HDL scoring index? Well, it is much like scoring some jurisdiction do to determine if one gets bail or not. A point for this, a point for that and if it totals up to be high enough, bam! You’re outta there. For orthodontics (braces and other appliances) children over age 12 AND have lost all their baby teeth can received services if their HDL score is 26 or higher. Like anything else there are exceptions, but this is the simple explanation.

Antoine Dental Center-Dr. Behzad Nazari
First up, for this series, is Dr. Behzad Nazari and Antoine Dental Center (ADC) vs. Texas Health and Human Services (THHSC) (SOAH docket no. 529-0997).  ADC was represented by Jose A. (Tony) Canales and Oscar X. Garcia. Robert (Bob) M. Anderton.  Many of these clinic suspected of fraud have hired dentist/attorney, Dr. Robert (Bob) Anderton, former American Dental Association president.

Dr. Behzad Nazari/Antoine Dental Center has been under a 100% (that is HUGE) CAF pay hold since March 28, 2012 totaling over $550,000.  On March 29, 2012 the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Control Fraud Unit (MCFU) opened an investigation into ADC.