Owners of Several Dental Clinics Face Prison Terms

The owners of several Missouri dental clinics were recently convicted for defrauding the government by submitting false claims to Medicaid and failing to pay payroll taxes. The owners, who are a married couple, operated three All About Smiles LLC dental clinics and a separate management company.

In a collaborative effort, the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and IRS-Criminal Investigation Unit investigated the couple’s conduct and exposed their fraud. The investigation identified the following conduct:

• Orthodontic equipment used to straighten teeth without braces at a cost to the owners of $50 per patient was utilized in care rendered to minor patients, but the corresponding claims submitted to Medicaid described it as speech-aid prosthesis for approximately $695 per patient

• An alleged scheme with a dentist to provide dentures and other services to patients who didn’t qualify for Medicaid reimbursement, but the claims were submitted to Medicaid and the couple collected improper reimbursements in the amount of $720,000

• Payroll taxes were withheld from employee paychecks, but the couple allegedly failed to pay the amounts properly due to the IRS  

Dental providers are reminded that while patient care is of paramount importance, the manner in which their dental practice or clinic is managed is also subject to intense scrutiny. For more information about regulations affecting the practice of dentistry, contact Frier Levitt to speak to an attorney.