By Talesha Reynolds
MARCH 12, 2014 - A company that manages a chain of dental clinics once accused of subjecting children to painful and unnecessary procedures and bilking the government for millions of dollars has been notified it will no longer be eligible for reimbursement from federal health care programs like Medicaid, its principal source of revenue.
The company, CSHM, manages 53 clinics nationwide, most of which operate under the name Small Smiles. The clinics treat mostly low-income children in areas where access to dental care is limited.
The Office of the Inspector General of the Department Health and Human Services sent a letter to CSHM on Friday citing multiple breaches to a compliance agreement, which mandates quality of care measures. The breaches included failing to report incidents involving patients at Small Smiles clinics in Tulsa, Okla., and Mattapan, Mass.
The OIG declined to provide further detail on the specific breaches that led to the exclusion.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who last year published a report on corporate dental management companies along with former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Monday that the CSHM exclusion notice “will protect both taxpayers and vulnerable children receiving dental care in the Medicaid program.”