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Thursday, October 27, 2016

57 children who underwent baby tooth root canals, or pulpotomies, at Children’s Dental Group have been hospitalized

CHOC given $150,000 to treat children sickened in dental clinic infection outbreak

By COURTNEY PERKES / STAFF WRITER
Contact the writer:
cperkes@scng.com 714-796-3686

So far, 57 children who underwent baby tooth root canals, or pulpotomies, at Children’s Dental Group have been hospitalized at CHOC with confirmed or probable mycobacterial infections, said Dr. Jasjit Singh, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Orange hospital. About 21 patients need to take a tightly regulated drug typically used to treat leprosy, she said.

Ordering the oral antibiotic, clofazimine, from the Food and Drug Administration requires a lengthy approval process for each child. CHOC will be expanding a part-time nurse’s hours to full-time to oversee the process.

“It’s a much more rigorous process than writing a prescription for an antibiotic,” Singh said. “That process requires some administrative and logistical work. It requires filling out those FDA forms.”

…“This is a nightmare,” Morales said. “I stay awake at times picturing her with a hearing aid or with kidney problems. That’s why I asked the nurse what would happen if we didn’t give this to her. She said she could die.”

READ THE ENTIRE UPDATE HERE


In related news, Christine Curtis brought her three children to Children’s Dental Group of Anaheim and says dentists perfromed up to 11 baby root canals on her children, all while they were strapped down and restrained.  Curtis now believes the work was unnecessary and along with a growing number of parents has contacted Texas Attorney, Jim Moriarty for help.

Wayne Dolcefino, President of Investigative Communications firm, Dolcefino Consulting spoke with Moriarty:

“This assembly line dentistry uncovered in at Children’s Dental Group smacks of Medicaid Fraud,” says Moriarty. “A Full state and federal investigation is owed to U.S. taxpayers.  I believe Children’t Dental is over treating these childdren to make a buch using higher cost stainless steel crowns, and falsifying the need for baby root canals to increase the cost of taxpayers.”

“I beleive the infection outbreat in California could lead to proving Children’s Dental Group is systematically abusing children.”

Moriarty was the legal architect behind the groundbreaking lawsuit against the Small Smiles Dental chain, and now represents the family of 4-year old Neveah Hall, the little girl left severely brain damaged by a bad dentist.

Related Links:

Law Offices of James R. Moriarty Facebook

Law Offices of James R. Moriary Website

The many schemes of four dentists accused of defrauding MetroHealth

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By Eric Heisig, cleveland.com
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on October 26, 2016 at 9:36 AM, updated October 26, 2016 at 4:10 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The schemes described in a federal indictment against former MetroHealth executive Edward Hills and three former hospital dentists undertook were complex, intertwined and lasted for years.

They also involved about $250,000, much of which was taxpayer money. Meanwhile, Hills was being paid increasingly larger six-figure salaries for his work at the hospital system.

The U.S. Attorney's Office laid out its accusations in a 93-page indictment unsealed Tuesday, following the arrest of Hills and dentists Sari Alqsous, Yazan Al-Madani and Tariq Sayegh. The charges say the men steered MetroHealth clients and resources toward their private businesses and forced prospective residents to pay them bribes in exchange for preferential treatment.

All four entered not-guilty pleas at their arraignments.

The case is the culmination of an investigation that lasted more than two years and was headed by the FBI and IRS. It involves a series of cooperating witnesses. Federal prosecutors have not said whether others will face charges.

READ ENTIRE STORY HERE

 

Related:

FBI raids former MetroHealth System's executive's home, businesses

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Unlicensed Dental Hygiene Practice as a Business Model

 

Dr. Michael Davis
Dr. Michael W. Davis maintains a general dental practice in Santa Fe, NM. He serves as chairperson for Santa Fe District Dental Society Peer-Review. Dr. Davis also provides a fair amount of dental expert legal work for attorneys. He may be contacted via email: MWDavisDDS@comcast.net

 

 

Unlicensed Dental Hygiene Practice as a Business Model

The unlicensed practice of dental hygiene is unlawful in all 50 states. In reality, enforcement is lax to nonexistent. In the infrequent event of violators charged, the bigger the violator, the more lenient the penalty. State regulatory dental boards have generally failed to address this problem, and their inaction has enabled and emboldened violators. Dental practices which conduct their business affairs within the rule of law are at a distinct marketplace disadvantage, to dental practices which engage unlawful dental hygiene practice as a business model.

Traditionally, only doctors were lawfully permitted to own dental practices and supervise the practice of dental hygiene within their businesses. Today, a dental practice may only be “owned” by a dentist(s) as a nominee figurehead. An outside corporation may truly beneficially own and manage the dental practice and the practice of dental hygienists. These beneficial owners (often private equity investment companies) pull the strings on the doctor/patient relationship, as well as the practice of dental hygiene in their clinics via dental service organizations (DSOs).

Jesus Villegas, DDS MS

Dr. Villeges, a pediatric dental specialist with clinics in Milford and West Haven, CT, settled with the US government for $1.3 million for his alleged actions of utilization of uncertified dental assistants in taking dental radiographs.1 These patient services could only lawfully be delegated to certified dental assistants or licensed dental hygienists. This dental Medicaid fraud case was notably prosecuted in Connecticut, as were earlier federal and state criminal actions against Dr. Gary Anusavice2 and later Dr. Mehran Zamani3, who operated a chain of dental Medicaid clinics, also in CT.

Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge with the US Health and Human Services- Office Inspector General stated, “Dentists must ensure that only certified staff provide services to their patients. Cutting corners could jeopardize the safety of patients and the integrity of the Medicaid program.  Working with our law enforcement partners, our agency is dedicated to protecting patients and the government health care programs designed to serve them.”1

US Attorney Deirdre M. Daly added, “Health care providers must utilize properly certified individuals to treat patients, and the failure to ensure such proper care for patients will have serious consequences.”1

Douglas Macko, DMD MS

In the case of State of Connecticut versus Douglas Macko, the decision awarded $717,000 to the plaintiff, for Dr. Macko’s violations to the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.4 Dr. Macko unlawfully employed unlicensed personnel to provided dental hygiene patient services to pediatric dental patients. The court’s decision went into length on Dr. Macko’s efforts misrepresent facts of the case. The court also determined unlicensed staff falsified statements of fact in affidavits to support their employer. Like the aforementioned legal case of Dr. Jesus Villegas, this legal action involved a specialist pediatric dentist, and primarily dental Medicaid fraud.

Thomas P. Floyd, DMD MS

Similar to the previous cases, Dr. Floyd was a pediatric dental specialist mostly serving a children’s Medicaid population. However, his case was prosecuted in Florida, not Connecticut. In Florida, dentist violators are far more likely to receive regulatory wrist-slaps and large chain DSOs no investigation whatsoever (similar to most states).