Monday, September 15, 2014

Small Smiles Dental Centers: Countdown to Exclusion is Business as Usual

As the days count down to CSHM Exclusion from Medicaid becomes effective on September 30, 2014 I’m getting more and more reports that “lead” dentists of the individual Small Smiles clinics are “purchasing” their respective clinics. (Colorado clinics, New Mexico clinics and Indiana clinics just to name a few that have been reported.)

Since January 2010 the clinics have been visited by monitors and care continued decline to the point they were Excluded from Medicaid participation as of September 30.  Several reports from monitors found care unacceptable as dentists and staff continued to deliver substandard care as reported in the bipartisan Senate Report.

How can leaving same dentists in place improve the situation?

It is more than highly likely dentists who have been delivering the unacceptable care and treatment for years will continue with business as usual and children are still at great risk and taxpayers will continue to be fleeced.

The risk may be greater than ever.

Anyone think care will be better?

The dentists and clinic operations may not have the watchful eye of the government monitors or be bound by any Corporate Integrity Agreement with HHS-OIG.  That Agreement was made with CSHM, the management company of the Small Smiles dental centers. (another pitfall of corporate owned dentistry)

Small Smiles was put under a five year Quality of Care Corporate Integrity Agreement due to the less than acceptable treatment children received at each of various clinic across the country. Small Smiles clinics were not fined $24 million for less than acceptable “management” of the clinics. 

It looks like after 7 years and millions of taxpayer dollars spent to investigation and monitor while hundreds of millions continued to be bilked from Medicaid; nothing has changed. Lines between the good guys and the bad guys are FUBAR’d.


2007 – Investigation by HHS-OIG began

2010 – Small Smiles Clinics agree to a 5 year Quality of Care Corporate Integrity Agreement and fined $24 million.

2012 – Management Company files for Bankruptcy

2014 – Excluded from Medicaid