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Saturday, March 30, 2013

More coverage of Oklahoma dentist–Dr Wayne Scott Harrington and ADA Statement after Oklahoma dentist declared a menace to public health

7000 dental patients may be at risk for Hepatitis and HIV
Examiner.com
The Tulsa, Oklahoma oral surgeon is now under investigation by the state dental board, the state bureau of narcotics and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency because one of his patients recently tested positive for hepatitis C and HIV without known risk ...

Dentist's office a 'perfect storm' for HIV, hepatitis exposure, health ...
CNN
An official complaint filed before the state dental board described the violations, including "multiple sterilization issues, multiple cross-contamination issues, (and) the drug cabinet was unlocked and unattended." There were no logs of inventory for ...

AP Top Stories March 29 p
USA TODAY
Here's the latest news for Friday, March 29: Oklahoma dental board may institute routine inspection; UPS pays $40M to end online pharmacies probe; Conn. officials seek info from Newtown charities; Man jumps onto subway tracks to rescue stranger.

Oklahoma Dentist Could Face Criminal Charges
East Idaho News
Rogers said investigations by the state dental board, the state health department, the state bureau of narcotics and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency are just getting underway. Although she has not yet submitted documents to the Tulsa District ...

Dentist Offices Not Routinely Inspected, Oklahoma Official Says
News On 6
That's why the idea of an assistant administering IV drugs to patients is so outrageous to the Dental Board. "Allowing an assistant who's never been to school or training is unheard of and is completely unacceptable," executive director of the Oklahoma ...

OSDH: Testing Important, but HIV, Hep B & C Spreading in Offices Rare
KGOU
Oklahoma's dental board says it may start promoting routine inspections of dental and oral surgeon clinics. Health officials in Tulsa are setting up free testing clinics for 7,000 dental patients who may have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS ...

State Board Says Tulsa Dentist's Practice Was Unsafe Unsanitary ...
Until now, state health officials say the dentist has never had a complaint, and say the allegations against him now are unheard of.


 

 

Friday, March 29, 2013

As many as 7,000 Oklahoma patients could be in danger of infection

Tulsa-area patients potentially exposed to hepatitis, HIV at Dr. Scott Harrington's dental practices

Posted: 03/28/2013

    TULSA - Officials with the Tulsa Health Department and the Oklahoma State Department of Health are in the process of notifying around 7,000 patients of a local dental practice they may have been exposed to blood-borne viruses.

    During a press conference Thursday, local and state health officials as well as the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry released details surrounding the investigation, which revealed inappropriate infection control practices at the dental offices of W. Scott Harrington, D.M.D. and officials say Harrington put patients at risk for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

    Investigators were first tipped off to Harrington's office after one of his patients contracted HIV and hepatitis C  It was ultimately traced back to the dentist.

    Further inspection revealed a lack of sterilization, illegal administering of IVs by dental assistants, even a vial believed to have expired 20 years ago in an unlocked drug cabinet. 

    Despite health officials' discovery, Susan Rogers, executive director of the Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry, emphasized the importance of remaining calm while maintaining the gravity of the accusations.

    "I don't believe he had any idea there was anything bad happening," she said. " ... (It's) absolutely one of the most serious cases we've ever had."

    Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Bruce Smart echoed Rogers following the announcement.

    "We know it's very, very rare. It doesn't happen easily, but the fact that there has been unsafe practices, we never know if transmission could occur," he said.

    Patients who were treated at either of Harrington's dental practices -- located at 2111 S. Atlanta Pl. in Tulsa and 12806 E. 86th Pl. N. in Owasso -- since 2007 will receive letters from health officials and are encouraged to undergo testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

    The Tulsa Health Department's North Regional Health and Wellness Center at 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is performing free tests on a walk-in basis Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday, April 1 from 8 a.m. to 6 pm. The health department has also set up a hotline at (918) 595-4500 for people with questions.

    Officials say patient information was only available for the past seven years: therefore, patients seen by Harrington before 2007 may not receive letters. Anyone with additional questions may call the hotline.

    Harrington, who the state says has been practicing dentistry since 1977, has voluntarily closed his doors while officials conduct the investigation. A hearing is scheduled for April to determine his dental future.

    The Tulsa Health Department will continue to provide updated information on their website at www.tulsa-health.org  (http://bit.ly/TulsaHealth).

    SEE STATE'S COMPLAINTS

    Read more: http://www.kjrh.com/dpp/news/local_news/tulsa-area-patients-potentially-exposed-to-hepatitis-hiv-at-dr-scott-harringtons-dental-=

    None


    Related:

    Ohio Veteran Administration Clinic – 9 test positive for hepatitis – March 2, 2011

    Colorado dentist may have infected patients with HIV – July 13, 2012

    Oklahoma authorities say there may be as many as 100 victims in dental scam - September 5, 2012

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Dr. Bicuspid reports on Arizona Mobile Dental Bill HB 2426 and ReachOut Healthcare America

    At the end of their story are consent form examples.

    Arizona bill would increase oversight of mobile dental services
    By Donna Domino, Features Editor

    Dr.-Bicuspid4March 25, 2013 -- Arizona is considering a bill designed to provide more oversight of mobile dental service providers who provide prophys, irreversible procedures, and other dental treatment for children at the kids' schools. 


    State Rep. Doris Goodale (R-District 5) has introduced HB 2426, mobile-units_thumb2which would require double parental notification before a mobile dental unit can provide treatment to children: one for routine cleanings and sealants, and a second for irreversible procedures such as restorations or extractions.

    Lee Weinstein, DMD, a Scottsdale pediatric dentist and a member of the Arizona Dental Association who helped write the new legislation, said efforts to increase oversight of mobile dental providers gained momentum following complaints by the parents of Isaac and Joel Gagnon, who received dental treatment at their school in 2011. Four-year-old Isaac was given two pulpotomies and two stainless steel crowns, and his brother Joel received an "excessive" number of x-rays.

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    MDDR pandemic spreading

    A pandemic in dentistry has broken out here in the US.  Now reported in Indiana, it has also broken out in several other states including Oklahoma and Texas.  By no means is this pandemic an accident; personnel in some dental offices are having weekend hoedown type events designed specifically to maximize its effectiveness.  Who are the victims?  You and I!  Is there a test for it, you bet!  Is there a cure?  That is yet to be seen.

    What is MDDR
    You have probably never heard of MDDR.  Not wanting to wait for some official someone or  media personality to give it a catchy name and acronym, I did it myself.  Today I proclaim MDDR is Mass Destruction of Dental Records.  (I don’t think I  have to have some type of official ceremony so I’ll check on that later.)

    Officials in states, such as Texas, who are searching for evidence of this pandemic might want read this story out of Indianapolis concerning a breakout of MDDR.


    13news

    Posted: Mar 18, 2013 7:06 PM CDT Updated: Mar 20, 2013 10:09 AM CDT

    By Bob Segall - bio

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Thousands of patient records found by our 13 Investigates team are now in the hands of state investigators.

    Late Tuesday afternoon, special agents with the attorney general's office picked up boxes loaded with thousands of sensitive, personal documents. We found the sensitive information dumped at an Indianapolis church parking lot.

    Recycling is a great idea, except when it's private patient information being recycled in a public recycling bin. 13 Investigates got a call to a recycling dumpster in the parking lot of a south side church after the church secretary noticed something strange inside.

    dumpster dental records"Oh, my goodness, what do we have here? It's appalling. Somebody thought they could drive here and dump it and not get caught," said Elizabeth Fox, Olive Branch Christian Church.

    What we discovered inside the dumpsters were thousands of patient files all containing names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, Social Security numbers, X-rays, medical histories, dental information, credit card numbers and more.

    13 Investigates loaded up the files - nearly 7,000 of them - and brought them back to our studio to figure out where they came from. It turns out all of the records are from two dental clinics - Comfort Dental offices in Kokomo and Marion.

    The Comfort Dental offices in Marion and in Kokomo are now closed. The dentist who ran these offices lost his dental license because of fraudulent billing. Now, a year and half later, more bad news for his patients.

    Janet Christie is shocked to learn her family's dental records and private information were just dumped instead of being destroyed.

    "That's us. Wow," she said, shaking her head in disbelief. "I'm disappointed. I'm angry. This is just very upsetting. I can't believe it. I wouldn't think it would ever happen to me."

    Ben Moses feels the same way after we found all of his family's dental records inside the dumpster.

    "This was a shock to say the least," he said. "It seems like anybody could have walked by, seen what was in there and walked off with my personal information. I would expect information like this to be shredded, to be disposed of properly," said Moses.

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Arizona Mobile Dental Statue–A look back, and peek ahead

    At a February 4, 2011 meeting, discussions were held on HB 2233, a Bill introduced by Representative Doris Goodale (R-Kingman) to regulate Mobile Dental Facilities in the state. A stakeholder’s meeting had been held just prior to the meeting; attendees included the dental board, AHCCCS, the Arizona Dental Association and Dr. Ralph Green. The minutes of that meeting said Dr. Green was representing “one of the mobile dental units”. We know that to be ReachOut Healthcare America.
    At the stakeholders meeting, held prior to the February dental board meeting, two amendments had been brought forth for HB 2233. The first added a verbal “informed consent”. This would mean the consent for treatment could be given over the phone as long as it was recorded and stored. It also provided two distinct levels of consent; level one authorizing preventative and diagnostic services and the other level for actual treatment.
    The second amendment eliminated the two levels of consent in amendment #1 and provided for an audio recorded informed consent, which included a section that redefined the meaning of “informed consent” in Arizona.
    At the February 2011 board meeting lobbyist Stuart Goodman said “not to forget the art of politics – taking the ideal and making sacrifices for what is achievable. He also stated, “Bills that add more legislation do work as long as there is consensus among the parties. If there is not consensus, the members start looking for excuses and public safety aspects tent to get lost in the shuffle.”
    Goodman recommended a hybrid of the two amendments. He wanted the board to removed the word “permanently” that was included in the original bill that had to do with the “recorded and stored” language it contained. Goodman requested the board move quickly deciding on the language as he was feared the Mobile Dental Bill would be pulled, citing “mobile dentistry would go unregulated another year.” Mr. Kevin Earl, executive director of the Arizona Dental Association, was more concerned about whether a copy of the recording would get submitted to the board if a patients records were subpoenaed. Upon MOTION by Dr. Waite and second by Dr. Morrison, the board gave Stuart Goodman the authority to modify the wording but hold off on modifying the definition of informed consent. They also wanted to meet again with Goodman in another stakeholders meeting and see if they could come to some sort of agreement. 
    At the Arizona House Committee on Health and Human Services meeting February 16, 2011, Ralph Green’s lobbyist Gregory Harris signed up in support of HB 2233 but did not speak.
    http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/50leg/1R/comm_min/House/021611%20HHS.PDF
    The governor signed the Bill into law April 16, 2011. There was no two tiered approach to consent for treatment included in the final legislation that went into effect January 1, 2012. (Full Text of HB 2233)  ReachOut and Ralph Green, DDS won that battle.
    32-1299.25. Informed consent; information for patients
    A.  The permit holder of a mobile dental facility or portable dental unit must obtain appropriate informed consent, in writing or by verbal communication, that is recorded by an electronic or digital device from the patient or the parent or guardian of the patient authorizing specific treatment before it is performed. The signed consent form or verbal communication shall be maintained as part of the patient's record as required in section 32-1264.

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    DA Craig Watkins in Contempt of Court–Richard Malouf fiasco

    DALLAS — It's no secret that a Dallas Judge has cited District Attorney Craig Watkins for contempt in a case involving one of his biggest campaign donors.

    But News 8 has learned the FBI began investigating Watkins 20 months ago in an investigation that included another campaign donation.

    It was July 13, 2011. FBI agents came to Craig Watkins' 11th floor courthouse office with subpoenas and questions.

    Part of the investigation: A $10,000 campaign donation from the wife of Dallas dentist Richard Malouf.

    "They did come, and they asked to see all the files involved," assistant DA Rocky Jones told News 8.

    The DA's office had previously conducted an investigation of Malouf which ended in a $46,000 settlement.

    "They did take copies of several things," Jones said. "We didn't know what they took copies of."

    News 8 has learned that in December 2009, Richard Malouf's attorney Gregory Shamoun presented Watkins with three campaign checks.

    The largest — $10,000 — was from Leanne Malouf, Dr. Malouf's wife. After receiving the donation, Watkins was asked to come to Shamoun's office for a meeting.

    Malouf was there, asking to talk about a criminal investigation in which he was the target. Watkins left the meeting immediately, his office saod.

    Watkins' campaign returned the Malouf donation with a check drawn from his campaign funds.

    What might surprise many voters is how much money goes to judges and district attorneys at Texas courthouses, and how often it happens.

    "You have in Texas judges [who] routinely accept campaign contributions from people who are going to appear before them the next day," said assistant Dallas County DA Heath Harris.

    Harris says it's up to judges and district attorneys not to let the donations sway their judgement.

    "You have judges who take campaign contributions from lawyers. Lawyers are representing Joe Blow," Harris said.

    "Joe Blow," Harris says, may have a case in the judge's court.

    Shamoun, Dr. Malouf's attorney, was not available for comment.

    The FBI doesn't talk about investigations.

    According to The Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press, the FBI is investigating Watkins again for donations from another attorney.

    Although there is nothing illegal about attorneys making donations to judges or district attorneys, some lawyers say the system itself needs to be investigated.

    E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

    Dental One Partners commits malpractice for profit says Dentists and North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners

    Frontline

    DentalWorks Chain Misdiagnosed for Money, Dentists Say
    March 13, 2013, 10:28 am ET by Sarah Childress

    DentalWorks, a national dental-care chain, is facing two lawsuits in North Carolina claiming that it unlawfully practiced dentistry and deceptive practices.

    A lawsuit filed by the state dental board alleges that the company lied about its operations. A second lawsuit, filed by dentists who worked for the chain, alleges that it pushed staff to inappropriately diagnose patients in order to bill them for more costly procedures.

    DentalWorks is one of several dental-care companies facing scrutiny of its practices recently.

    In last June’s Dollars and Dentists, FRONTLINE and the Center for Public Integrity reported that Kool Smiles, which serves children covered by Medicaid, has been accused in several states of providing unnecessary treatment for children in order to bill more money. Kool Smiles has denied the allegations in an extensive response.

    Last July, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said his office was probing Kool Smiles, Small Smiles and ReachOut HealthCare America, which all serve poor children on Medicaid.

    And Aspen Dental, one of the nation’s largest corporate dental chains, was accused in a class-action lawsuit in October of deceiving patients and illegally owning dental practices. Aspen Dental, which denies the allegations, filed a motion to dismiss the case. Attorneys representing former patients in January filed an amended complaint (pdf) in January that added 13 more pages of allegations, which Aspen Dental has since filed to dismiss.

    The Latest Lawsuits

    DentalWorks is the trade name of DentalOne Partners, Inc., a national dental company operating in 14 states. The suit filed by the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners accuses (pdf) DentalOne Partners of influencing clinical policies, including pushing for inappropriate diagnoses in order to bill for unnecessary treatment.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Dental Service Organizations in 2013–a Collage of Crap

     

    DSOs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Who owns these Dental Service Organizations (DSO’s)?

    Dental One Partners, is in the news in North Carolina; lawsuits from dentists and the North Carolina Dental Board. Today let’s look at Wal-Mart’s dip into dentistry. For years have I reported that a majority of DSO’s are owned by private equity and unlicensed corporate interests in direct violations of the Dental Practice Acts. It is a façade to bypass the law! Even if a genuine dentist wanted to own and operate a DSO in a legal and ethical fashion, is it hard or hardly possible?

    A recent case filed in California against a dental service organization is a classic example on how these management front organizations are formed or owned to bypass the laws:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9217698.htm

    This lawsuit I posted alleges all sorts of misconduct, but the one that is most interesting to me, is the structural setups of the Wal-Mart dental offices.

    http://blog.dentistthemenace.com/2013/02/conspiracy-lawsuit-files-against-wal.html

    In this particular case, Wal-Mart was obviously not allowed to own dental offices due to Stark, Dental Practice Acts, and Federal Anti-Kickback Statues. So what did Wal-Mart do to get in on the lucrative business of dentistry and maintain full control? Under the guise of compliance, they decided to setup a management (DSO) entity in Delaware and locate the home offices in Nevada while setting up dental offices in California and Arizona, with their own crew.  Heck, even Smile Brands has hopping into bed with Wal-Mart. 

    http://www.brightnow.com/pressroom/news/bright-now-dental-opens-new-dental-office-mesa-az

    It is alleged that Kent Reeves was the former VP of New Business Development for Wal-Mart, now an executive of the fake dental management company. It is further alleged that Ken Antos owns a restaurant chain inside of Wal-Marts and is a private equity man, now another executive of this fake management company. The lawsuit states that after the idea was presented to Wal-Mart by Dr. Kianor Shah, a California Dentist, it was business as usual.

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Family-Business-Took-on-Walmart-Over-Alleged-Patent-Infringement-181701451.html

    Since neither of their two “de facto owners” are licensed dentists nor have any dental office management history at all, they needed a dentist to register all of the entities with those states in order to open the doors.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/99212359/Aspen-Dental-from-Senator-Grassley-Requesting-Management-Service-Agreements

    It appears as they approached a politician, whom happens to be a dentist, to serve as their front man:

    http://www.nevadanewsbureau.com/2010/03/30/state-gop-chair-resigns/

    Does this story sound familiar to the private equity backed cases of Forba, Dental One, Aspen, Heartland, ReachOut, KoolSmiles, and others alike?

    The FTC says that it has not seen any cases where there was an issue with competition for other dentists. Well how many more private equity backed dental scandals need to be uncovered before the federal government steps in and protects the public from harm and allow fair competition to dentists? The result is usually the same when these DSO’s enjoy immunity. Dentists are coerced to push for production and patient care becomes a second priority.

    If you wanted to take the time, all of these trace back to a few “not so Good Men” and the DGPA’s president Edward Meckler; also top dog at Dental One Partners.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Agape Dental–Dr. Seok Nichlos fined and monitoring ordered

    kitsapDentist charged with inadequate care to be monitored

    By Rachel Pritchett

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013 

    EAST BREMERTON, Washington — Dentist Seok W. Nichols, charged by a state panel for faulty work on two patients, has reached a settlement that will allow him to continue his practice with oversight.

    Dr. Nichols runs Agape Dental Care, a Christian-themed practice in the Fred Meyer shopping plaza on Highway 303. He received his credential to practice in Washington in 2005.

    The agreed order between the dentist and Dental Quality Assurance Commission, dated Feb. 1, requires Nichols’ work as a dentist to be monitored for two years. He must allow a state Department of Health investigator to conduct 10 unannounced office reviews. The commission is part of the Department of Health.

    The dentist must pay a $15,000 fine to the commission, along with another $5,784 for his part in the cost of bringing the charges against him.

    Nichols must complete continuing education and pay back two patients whose work on them was detailed in the charges.

    In the case of one patient in 2008, the commission charged that Nichols found decay in six teeth, but X-rays indicated decay in another seven teeth that he missed.

    And between 2008 and 2010, Nichols saw another patient many times, extracting teeth, placing crowns and installing a partial denture. The crowns failed repeatedly and the denture didn’t fit well.

    Nichols’ records and treatment of both patients showed “a lack of understanding of dental diagnosis, treatment and terminology,” the charges stated.

    An office staff person said he was not available for comment Tuesday.


    This Agape group is HIGHLY suspicious group of folks, that’s for sure.  In South Carolina they are buying up urgent care centers and putting the previous owner doctors under employment contracts.  (we know how this works) They have their hands in everything from dental care to funeral care, including senior living and pharmacies. 

    They are to senior living what Heartland Dental and Dental One Partners are to dental care.  They swoop in, fire the long time office employees, replace them with their own stooges. While they operate under the guise of “faith-based”, it’s odd to me they carry out their employment interviews in the local nightclubs. 

    Indianapolis dentist Dr. Arnel Gallanosa

    Indianapolis dentist, Dr. Arnel J. Gallanosa, DDS, faced charges of Medicaid fraud in January 2012

    While on probation for stealing Vicodin prescription, Marion County Prosecuting Attorney charged Dr. Gallanona  on 10 counts of Medicaid fraud, five counts of theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud.

    A court affidavit claimed that Gallanosa offered patients money for accepting free dental work, then billed Indiana's Medicaid program.

    In one instance, Gallanosa paid a man who recruited three dental patients from an Indianapolis mental health facility, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office said.

    Prosecutors said in one day, he removed 33 teeth from the three patients.

    Dr. Gallanosa worked for ImmediaDent, owned by James Ferrell of Ferrell Gas – Blu Rhio Propane

    So what happened to Dr. Gallanosa, was he taken off the streets?  Nope!  He went right back to work. It’s my understand he was not to treat Medicaid patients but he worked in a clinic that did…so….  It’s possible, just possible he saw Medicaid patients and it was billed under another dentists name, know what I mean?

    Dr. Gallanosa was before the Indiana Dental Board at it’s February 1, 2013 meeting, and asked just these questions. After some tough questions, Dr. G finally admitted he was working in Evansville, Indiana and was indeed treating Medicaid patients.  One board member was furious and wanted his license revoked.  The rest, well… they wanted to investigate it further!!  What’s to investigate?! 

    An administrative meeting was held on February 13, 2013 to address Dr. Gallanosa’s misdeeds, the outcome is unknown.

    Arnel J. Gallanosa, D.D.S., License No. 12009962A
    Administrative Cause No. 2012 ISBD 0004

    WFAA’s dental fraud investigations recognized and lauded by Forbes

    Ending White House Tours Instead Of Ending Medicare And Medicaid Fraud -

    Merrill Matthews, Contributor
    March 7, 2013

    forbes

    “White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice,” according to a White House email.  Meanwhile, billions of dollars pour out of Medicare and Medicaid because of waste and fraud.  Indeed, eliminating Medicare and Medicaid fraud, rather than White House tours, would offset the sequester cuts for the next decade.

    two idiotsI don’t know how much money President Obama thinks it saves by canceling White House tours, though I’ll bet it’s a lot less than one of his golfing trips on Air Force One, which costs about $180,000 an hour to fly.

    But we do have several estimates of how much Medicare and Medicaid fraud cost.  Typical estimates, which have been echoed by the Obama administration, put the figure in the $60 billion a year range for each program.

    A study by the Rand Corporation pegged Medicare and Medicaid fraud at about $98 billion in 2011, roughly equal to the future annual budget cuts (actually, reductions in the rate of growth) imposed by the sequester.

    The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) most recent estimate for Medicare, released in February, claimed there was a total of $44 billion in improper payments in 2012.  That figure is a little lower than the $48 billion for 2010.

    Not all of the GAO calculation is fraud.  It includes overpayments and underpayments, unnecessary services, coding errors and other problems.  And there is fraud that isn’t detected by the GAO report.  But you get the idea; it’s a big problem and getting bigger as criminals and the mob get more brazen in their efforts.  For example:

    Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Gorillas in the dental operatory says Casamassimo; I agree

    On March 6, 2013 Dr. Paul Casamassimo published an article on Dr. Bicuspid -  “Second Opinion:  Gorillas in the dental operatory” 

    I know thousands of children who have seen dentists in clinics of which he was closely associated who would damn well agree!  Big Ole Gorillas! Big – Mean – Nasty - Cruel - Gorillas!

    The whole article was a lot of mumbo jumbo BS.  Leaving the mind wondering exactly what “state” his was in.  But mostly it was about “more”, as usual.  “More” is always the theme.

    “Medicaid expansion without reimbursement increases may simply just put more people in cars and on the phone searching for dental care.”

    Well, that’s where we’ve been the last umpteen times it’s expanded, right?  It should give you more PPP – Production Per Patient opportunities!

    “The proposed increase in dental schools and new workforce models carry with them the specter of educational debt and the likelihood that these providers will be reluctant to serve the poor.”

    More schools, more student debt, more dentists, …I can only see more whining, crying, boo hoo’ing and bellowing   There aren’t enough mouths to keep dentists financially secure now, to hear many tell it. On the other hand others live quite nicely…

    As it is, dentists are fighting over who can get the reimbursement for a tooth first; Medicaid or private.  A virgin tooth is on the endangered species list and worth a small fortune.

    That term he used, “new workforce models” was scary!  Wished he had elaborated more other than just using such a catchy term. 

    “The dental profession may be ill-prepared to take on additional newly insured children under the ACA, not only because of the financial inadequacies in reimbursement, but because of social factors that tend to permeate many health-related behaviors, not just oral health. Repeated surveys of dentists caring for Medicaid clients include "patient characteristics" in the top three reasons provided for lack of their participation. Despite that, reimbursement for care-management costs related to oral health to agencies or providers remains spotty at best.”

    Huh?

    I take it when the day comes every American is on government funded healthcare we will all be seen as misfits, we will all be “the poor”.  Hell, 99% are, right?  We will all have those much despised “patient characteristic” he speaks about, right? Whether we actually are or not seems to not matter, as long as someone like Dr. C says it’s so, it must be true.

    Does everyone hate the poor? We hear it a lot from the dental community.

    “The poor are this… and the poor are that… and they break appointments… and they don’t smell good…despite hating every fiber of your being we want you guys as patients in a bad way, so come on in…new patients welcome”

    Is care of the patient the real desire or the tax dollars those nasty poor people can make available? 

    A big ole “ATTITUDE  AJUSTMENT” on the part those with DDS slapped on their last name is what I say is needed!

    I guarantee you there are more teeth destroyed in this nation every day from misfit, greedy, unethical dentists, than are damaged by diet, lack of hygiene or fist fights.

    What a jerk!

    You can read his whole article here.

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013

    North Carolina takes action against Dental One Partners: operating dental clinics illegally–unnecessary treatment– false diagnosis periodontal disease

    msd3

    Appears Dental One Partners has been doing a bit of “up selling”  or should it be put “up diagnosis”.  Court Pleadings at the end of article.

     

    Published: 10:38 PM, Tue dentalworksMar 05, 2013

     

    N.C. sues DentalWorks, alleges unnecessary treatments pushed, illegal ownership

    By Paul Woolverton

    Staff writer

    State officials allege in a lawsuit that the DentalWorks dentistry chain pressured dentists and dental workers at its North Carolina locations to give patients expensive, unnecessary treatments.

    The claim is part of a lawsuit the state Board of Dental Examiners filed in Wake County Superior Court on Feb. 18. It says DentalWorks illegally owns dental practices in this state - by law, only a dentist licensed in North Carolina may own a dental practice here - and therefore is illegally practicing dentistry.

    A related lawsuit was filed Feb. 18 against DentalWorks by 14 dentists with DentalWorks offices, including two dentists from Cumberland County.

    The allegations in both lawsuits paint a picture of patients being taken advantage of to boost profits.

    They say DentalWorks used financial incentives, protocols, internal recommendations, warnings of malpractice lawsuits and other pressures to push dentists and hygienists to make diagnoses that patients had gum disease when they did not.

    The patients were given unnecessary treatments, leading to excessive billing, the Dental Board says in its lawsuit and in other documents.

    The dentists' lawsuit also accuses DentalWorks of pushing them to give patients unneeded veneers and ceramic crowns in order to boost revenues.

    Tuesday, March 05, 2013

    Texas AG Greg Abbott disappointed in Dallas DA Craig Watkins’ “sweetheart deal” with Richard Malouf

    Sweethearts?

    sweethearts2

    A good example of why you can’t count on local DA’s to enforce the laws!


    WFAABio | Email
    WFAA
    Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM
    Updated today at 9:54 PM

    Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins accepted — then returned — a 2009 campaign donation from the wife of Medicaid dentist Dr. Richard Malouf, who was under investigation at the time by Watkins' office for allegations of Medicaid fraud.

    The Texas Attorney General’s Office says Watkins’ settlement of the case was a "sweetheart deal."

    Malouf checkDallas dentist Dr. Richard Malouf is the founder and former owner of All Smiles Dental Centers in Dallas. From 2008 through 2010, All Smiles billed the state of Texas more than $20 million for putting braces on children under Medicaid.

    For the past five years, federal, state and local officials have been investigating Malouf for Medicaid fraud.

    The Dallas County DA's office was one of those doing the investigating. Watkins' office received a criminal referral from the AG about Malouf.

    In 2009, Malouf's wife, Leanne, wrote Craig Watkins — who was running for re-election as Dallas County DA — a $10,000 campaign donation, News 8 has learned.

    Soon after, Watkins was asked to attend a meeting at the office of one of Malouf's attorneys, according to Heath Harris, the first assistant in the DA's office. News 8 wanted to talk to Watkins himself about the sequence of events. His office said he was ill and unavailable. Heath Harris spoke on behalf of Watkins.

    Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins Letter to Stephanie Leanne Lott Malouf Jan 5 2010 Redacted

    At the meeting at the attorney's office, Heath Harris said, Watkins was introduced to Malouf.

    Malouf wanted to talk to Watkins about his criminal case, Heath Harris said.

    "This Malouf person is trying to talk to him about a criminal matter," Heath Harris told News 8. "It's my understanding he [Watkins] immediately shuts him down. And he leaves."

    Watkins returned $10,000 to Leanne Malouf with a cashier's check in January, 2010.

    Monday, March 04, 2013

    How many lawsuits have been filed against Small Smiles Dental Centers and the dentists who have worked there?

    March 4, 2013
    Small Smiles Greed Collage 2The answer can be found in court documents filed during their bankruptcy proceedings over the last year.  According to Affidavit of Chief Restructuring Officer of Martin McGahan, 100 were on file in February 2012.  More recent documents filed by their malpractice insurance carrier states 1100 are "working” so to speak and more lawsuit likely to come.

     

    Affidavit of Martin McGahan - Doc 11 - February 20, 2012 – page 14 paragraph 38

    “Since January 2010, approximately 11 lawsuits on behalf of over one hundred plaintiffs have been filed against the Company and certain of the Dental Centers, in primarily three states, Ohio, New York and Oklahoma.”

    NUFI Objection Doc 568 - December 28, 2012 – page 4 paragraph 3:

    “Subsequent to the Debtors’ settlement with the DOJ and the various states, a number of lawsuits were filed throughout the country by or on behalf of the Dental Center patients against certain of the Debtors, Dental Centers and Dentists, alleging claims for damages based upon treatment received at the Dental Centers. In addition to the Patient Litigation, the Debtors contend thatat least approximately 1100 additional patients or former patients” have retained counsel to assert similar claims against the Debtors, the Dental Centers and the Dentists.”

    Dentists and auxiliary employee of Small Smiles Dental Centers (current or former) are not likely to be able to exhale for a very long time.

    For a list of the 600 plus pleadings and filing of this case see in United States Bankruptcy Court – Middle District of Tennessee, see:
    Church Street Health Management Docket Report

    In other Small Smiles Dental Centers news.  I’m told the morning huddles continue and production numbers remain a major topic of discussion. 

    Sunday, March 03, 2013

    Texas Dentists For Medicaid Reform now subject of WFAA-TV report

    TDMR-Fraud

    WFAA’s Byron Harris now on the tail for Texas Dentist’s for Medicaid Reform Fraud in his latest News 8 report.

     

     

     

     

     


    by BYRON HARRIS
    Bio | Email
    WFAA
    Story TimelineClick to open timeline

    Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform has all the trappings of a public interest group: The State Capitol is featured prominently on its website; the Texas star is in its logo; the word "reform" is in its title.

    But TDMR, as it calls itself, acts like a private interest group.

    Last month, the organization held a dinner at the Omni Southpark Hotel in Austin. TDMR's website invited the public, but the event was not public after all.

    An e-mail informed News 8 we would not be allowed to attend.

    Board member Dr. Juan Villareal would not disclose who the organization's donors are. "Donors can be anonymous, and a lot of them don't want their names mentioned," he told WFAA, adding that TDMR does not have members, only donors.

    "We basically take donations from people who are interested in our cause," Villareal said.

    So what is the cause? "Due process" is a phrase overheard in the hallway outside the dinner venue. TDMR offered News 8 an interview with a lawyer — presumably on its payroll — to explain the term "due process."

    A look at the name tags outside the dinner show many of of the invited guests have had their Medicaid payments suspended under a doctrine called Credible Allegations of Fraud (CAF). Under CAF, physicians and dentists can have their Medicare or Medicaid payments withheld if the government believes they've committed fraud.

    Dr. Villareal had $1.2 million in Medicaid dental payments to his clinic, Harlingen Family Dentistry, suspended under CAF. He appealed his case and won in an administrative hearing, but says he still hasn't received his money.

    TDMR's board consists of Villareal, his partner, and another dentist who was charged with Medicaid fraud.

    TDMR's website traces to an office labeled "SLS Worldwide Transportation" at a strip mall in Austin. The same address is also home to a website for Dr. Richard Malouf, a Dallas dentist who's being criminally investigated for fraud by the state of Texas.

    And the SLS Limousine office is home to the website of Harlingen Family Dentistry, Villareal's dental office.

    "TDMR is not so much about the money, as it is about denying due process" Villareal said. "That's the main concern."

    "Due process" may summarize Medicaid reform for TDMR's donors.

    But Dr. Morna Staffel said that doesn't speak for a Medicaid system she and many other dentists wrestle with every day.

    "I don't think there is a group that's speaking out for the legitimate and the ethical dentists... either general dentists or pediatric dentists," she said.

    Dr. Staffel's office regularly has to re-do work done by some of the dental chains supporting TDMR.

    "Yesterday, in fact, I had to do dental treatment on three different children who'd been treated at another dental clinic during a 12-month period," Dr. Staffel told News 8. "Eighty percent of the restorations that had been placed either were improperly placed, or done incorrectly, or failing."

    That work will need to be redone, she says, but getting Medicaid to pay for it is a slog.

    "It's very time-consuming. It requires a great deal of my office staff time." Dr. Staffel said. "In the end, if we don't do the treatment, the child gets hurt."

    She said her office often ends up doing the work for free.

    Dr. Staffel wants parents — even those on Medicaid — to know they have a choice in dentists. And if they feel their children are not getting treated properly, they can go elsewhere.

    So who really is Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform? Thirty-nine dental chains have had their Medicaid payments withheld under Credible Allegations of Fraud.

    As for many other Texas dentists, reform means something else.

    E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

    Related:

    Dr. Robert Tupac’s attorney releases statement in clients defense

    bakersfieldca

    Saturday March 2, 2013
    by Christine Bedell and Rachel Cook

     
    Tupac's attorney releases statement, expects dentist will be "fully vindicated"

    The attorney for a dentist accused of gross negligence in treating patients said in a statement Friday that he and his client are "pleased with the progress" of an administrative hearing on the allegations this past week and that they "look forward to presenting Dr. (Robert) Tupac's side of the story" when it resumes later this year.

    "We expect Dr. Tupac will be fully vindicated at the conclusion of the evidence in this matter," Jason Friedman wrote in an email.

    An accusation filed by the state Attorney General's office on behalf of the Dental Board of California alleges that Tupac fitted patients with improper-sized implants, altered patient records, billed a patient for an implant he never delivered and allowed dental assistants to do work beyond the parameters of their license.

    Saturday, March 02, 2013

    Small Smiles Dental Centers Bankruptcy–It’s complicated

    It’s complicated to liquidate a company operating illegal dental clinics.  As of February 21,2013 there have been 630 various pleadings filed in the bankruptcy case of Small Smiles Dental Centers. The Docket report is dang near 70 pages.  Even it is an interesting read. Hot smile

    If you currently work for Small Smiles Dental Centers or have EVER worked for Small Smiles Dental Centers you need to read this carefully. I realized they mass mailed a “Summary” of the Liquidation and Trust Agreement, as well as a “Ballot” but the key word is “summary”. 

    This junk company is an albatross that will forever more hang around the neck of every executive, every regional or sub-regional manager and every dentist who ever worked there. You will constantly be looking over your shoulder for the next 10 years or longer. 

    The last time I took the bar exam was…  uh… NEVER, so read it and draw your own conclusions.  

    This the the current PROPOSED Plan of Reorganization and not approved by any means as of yet.  There are objections by their malpractice carrier on file, and that’s where the dentists come into play even more I suspect.

    [Now, if I found myself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit and being represented by an attorney assigned to me by a malpractice insurance company who didn’t want to cover claims because they got hoodwinked by some slick willy system scammers, I’m not sure I’d feel that particular attorney had my best interest in mind.  Think about it.]

    Proposed Second Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization Doc 594 01-11-2013

    I particularly enjoyed this section on page 17.

    4.17(h) Claims Against Former Affiliates. Each holder of a Class 5(a) Claim will retain any and all claims and legal rights such holder may have against any of Danny DeRose, Edward DeRose, Michael DeRose, William Mueller, or Adolph Padula. All holder of Class 5(a) Claims will be entitled to initiate and prosecute any such claim against any or all of Danny DeRose, Edward DeRose, Michael DeRose, William Mueller, or Adolph Padula without restriction in the tort system. To the extent the automatic stay in these Chapter 11 Cases or any other limitation imposed by these Chapter 11 Cases would limit any such action, such automatic stay or limitation will be lifted thirty (30) days after the Effective Date of the Plan

    Summary of Liquidation and Trust Agreement

    Church Street Health Management Court Docket, February 21,2013

    Friday, March 01, 2013

    It’s not just the dental mills recruiting patients, so is the ADA

    ADA

    The American Dental Association is taking it’s cue from the Texas Medicaid dental mills, offering $100 bonus to bring in a patient member.  When words like – bonus, recruit and incentive are used in dentistry, I get real nervous. 

    "While we're recruiting about the same number of members each year, the total number of active, licensed dentists continues to grow, translating to a decrease in the overall market share," said Dr. Bauman. "If every dentist tapped into the value ADA provides to all members, they would see the immediate impact on their practices and within their careers."

    Any ADA member dentist is eligible to participate in the Member-Get-A-Member Campaign, and members will be rewarded with a $100 American Express gift card for each new, active member brought in (up to five members or $500 in American Express gift cards). Members may also decline the incentive and the ADA will contribute $100 to the ADA Foundation.

    To claim your $100 visit their website for more details.