Dr. Greenwald and Dr. Rai blew the whistle on Kool Smiles after they say they witnessed unnecessary dental procedures performed on children. CBS reached out to the company for a comment and they provided the following statements:
Statement from Kool Smiles:
“Our patients and their safety are our top priority and we will continue to work toward our mission of ensuring every child in America has a dental home. The settlement reached in December 2017 addressed treatment provided between 2009 and 2011, and was unrelated to the quality of dental care provided to patients. The company’s compliance and quality assurance programs lead the dental industry and we continue to implement ongoing measures to ensure every patient receives the best care.”
This past December
, 2-year-old Zion Gastelum died four days after visiting the Kool Smiles office in Yuma, Arizona. Zion’s death occurred just days after the Whistleblower suit was settled. The case had been in litigation for almost a decade.
Watch the video clip above and then the entire expose on the CBS All Access site, if you missed the live broadcast.
Pretty sad commentary on the practice of corporate dentistry.
About damn time.
A Dallas dentist has agreed to pay the state and federal government $1.2 million to resolve allegations that he submitted false orthodontic claims under Medicaid.
Dr. Richard Malouf, former majority owner of All Smiles Dental Center, allegedly submitted false Medicaid claims between 2004 and 2007.
News 8 reported on Malouf’s lavish homes and two multimillion dollar corporate jets. Malouf did not admit any wrongdoing or liability in his settlement.
He is one of several orthodontists highlighted for multimillion dollar billings under Medicaid.
Eleven dental operations statewide have had their state funds suspended for credible allegations of fraud in billing the Texas Medicaid Orthodontics program. This follows a 10-month News 8 investigation of medicaid orthodontics in Texas, which found the state spends more on braces for poor children than the rest of the nation combined.
Watch the video embedded below for more on the story.
Of course, there will be some money paid back to the State of Texas and the federal government. Some bureaucrats will be scolded or fired. Maybe a dentist or two will have their dental license suspended for a while.
But, the total lack of oversight in this program is an example of what happens when government involves itself too much into health care. There is vast unaccountable waste, abuse and fraud.
On the second anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, one has to wonder what will happen in the future with the public purse should the United States Supreme Court rule the law is constitutional
Texas Dental Medicaid OfficeWelfare dentistry medicaid is big business in Texas. And, while it violates Texas state law, recruiters are actively seeking young patients for Texas dentists at Food Stamp Offices.
Thousands of kids get free dental care under Medicaid in Texas. Texas taxpayers foot the bill, including putting crowns on the teeth of toddlers who don’t yet have their permanent teeth.
A News 8 investigation finds that some dentists want that Medicaid business so badly, they hire recruiters to bring in patients.
At a Texas Health and Human Services Office on Masters Road near Dallas, a man quietly stands in the parking lot, waiting for mothers who’ve just received food stamps to emerge from the waiting room.
He is a recruiter. He’s handing out cards for Happy Teeth Dental, just two doors down in the same complex.
At another HHS office across town, two women also wait for new food stamp recipients. They’re handing out cards for Lancaster Dental a few miles away.
And at another HHS office just up the road, Bear Creek Family Dentistry has a small kiosk set up to recruit new patients.
Medicaid parents are regularly solicited by dentists offering free stuff — such as iPods, zoo tickets, and electric toothbrushes — if they take their kids to certain dentists.
It is a little-seen side of Medicaid dentistry, a $1.5 billion business in Texas, where, statistics show, welfare and unregulated free enterprise come together like nowhere else in the United States.
Watch the video expose which is embedded below:
All I can say is wow!
There needs to be some action on the part of the Texas Dental Board to enforce the anti-solicitation law and from the Feds to cut off the spigot of taxpayer money flowing to these dentists.
I know the United States Senate is investigating dentistry medicaid across the country. But, the abuses are rampant and this is before new federal funds will be doled out under ObamaCare’s Affordable Care Act.
Hold on to your wallets taxpayers!
No one would say being a single mom is easy. Especially being a single, teenage mother.
But the State of Texas appears to be encouraging teenage girls to become pregnant so they can receive free dental care under Medicaid.
Watch the excellent investigative video above and explain to me why the State of Texas is even covering orthodontics with federal medicaid dollars when California has NO dental medicaid for adults – at all?
This is an excellent investigative series, albeit long video that discusses the problems with the State of Texas and their delivery of orthodontic care via Medicaid.
The WFAA-TV news special “Crooked Teeth” highlights an 11-part investigative series that reveals tens of millions of dollars in questionable billings and a troubling lack of oversight of the Texas Medicaid orthodontic program.
Although Texas Medicaid limits orthodontic care to poor children with severely misaligned teeth, “Crooked Teeth” reveals Texas paid more for Medicaid-funded dental orthodontics than the other 49 states combined.
In fact, a number of Texas dental clinics receive more in Medicaid orthodontic reimbursements than the amounts paid annually to entire states like Illinois, Georgia, Florida and California.
The half-hour news special “Crooked Teeth” raises questions about other Medicaid reimbursements nationally, including a troubling payment policy by one of the nation’s largest government contractors.
Watch it all and wonder why government financed and run health care is just filled with danger – fraud and cronyism included.
The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has some very stark findings for budget hawks who want to tackle America’s mounting deficit.
Less than a quarter of Americans support making significant cuts to Social Security or Medicare to tackle the country’s mounting deficit, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, illustrating the challenge facing lawmakers who want voter buy-in to alter entitlement programs.
In the poll, Americans across all age groups and ideologies said by large margins that it was “unacceptable” to make significant cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the federal deficit. Even tea party supporters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, declared significant cuts to Social Security “unacceptable.”
At the same time, a majority supported two specific measures that lawmakers might employ to shore up the shaky finances of the main entitlement programs.
More than 60% of poll respondents supported reducing Social Security and Medicare payments to wealthier Americans. And more than half favored bumping the retirement age to 69 by 2075. The age to receive full benefits is 66 now and is scheduled to rise to 67 in 2027.
Depending on how they are structured, those two changes could eliminate as much as 60% of Social Security’s underfunding, according to experts. Support for the two ideas in the poll is “impressive,” said Chuck Blahous, one of the program’s public trustees and a former Bush administration official. “I wonder if [public] receptivity is increasing.”
The poll comes as Republican lawmakers, many elected on promises to slash federal spending, have focused mostly so far on cuts to non-defense, discretionary programs. But many political leaders say meaningful deficit reduction cannot be accomplished without making changes to entitlement programs.
Here is a graphic representation of the poll:
Of course, Americans don’t want the bad news and they certainly don’t want to cut their own entitlements. But something will have to be done if we want to reduce the debt we have to foreign nations and to spur economic activity. A bankrupt nation beholden to foreign investors certainly will not pay out ANY benefits.
Means testing is fine and a modest increase in the retirement age is OK. This can be done relatively easily and should be done immediately. If this takes care of 60 per cent of the problem in future years, then the GOP controlled House can move on to other budget cutting issues. 60 per cent is a start – even 40 per cent is good.
Naturally, the Democrats will demonize the Republicans to senior citizens but modest changes now and quickly will force President Obama to act either in a fiscally responsible manner or not.