The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has helped secure a $5.1 million settlement with two dental firms accused of improperly billing Indiana Medicaid for unperformed or unnecessary dental services.
The settlement, reached in conjunction with U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman in the Western District of Kentucky, resolves claims that ImmediaDent of Indiana LLC improperly billed Indiana Medicaid for dental services in its nine dental practices in Indiana. Another firm involved in the settlement, Samson Dental Partners LLC, provides administrative and other support services to ImmediaDent.
In 2013, a qui tam complaint was filed in the Western District of Kentucky under the federal False Claims Act and the Indiana False Claims and Whistleblower Protection Act by Kentucky dentist Jihaad Abdul-Majid, alleging that the defendants engaged in various types of fraud. Accusations against the companies include fraudulent billing, excessive and unnecessary treatments of patients and a sustained pressure by non-dentists in management positions to place corporate profits over patient care by exerting undue influence on dental care decisions.
Specifically, both companies are accused of submitting false claims for payment to Indiana’s Medicaid program between Jan. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2013. Samson Dental is accused of violating Indiana’s law prohibiting the corporate practice of dentistry by exerting obtrusive influences over ImmediaDent’s medical professionals and staff in a manner that compromised their clinical judgment.
The United States and Indiana intervened in the civil action in October 2018, securing a settlement of roughly $5.1 million. Under the settlement, the companies agreed to pay the United States $3,400,271 and Indiana $1,782,729.
“Working to recover taxpayer funds taken through fraud and other illegal means is part of our responsibility as stewards of the public trust,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a statement. “We appreciate the collaboration of our federal partners in this particular case, and we intend to remain vigilant going forward to make sure Medicaid monies are used for their designated purposes.”
“Let this be a warning to health care organizations that the United States government is watching, and will continue to watch for false claims no matter how large or small,” Coleman said in a statement. “The United States Attorney’s office is protecting the taxpayers’ dollars every day with the help of our state and local partners.”
The matter was handled by Indiana deputy attorney general Lawrence J. Carcare II and assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin S. Schecter of the Western District of Kentucky.