2 dentists, practices sued by U.S., state authorities

Legal Scales

U.S. and state authorities recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against two dentists and the practices they operated in Connecticut for allegedly engaging in a Medicaid kickback scheme.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut and the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General filed the suit on April 2 against C&S Family Dental in New Britain and Waterbury, CT, and dentists Dr. Bohun Choi and Dr. Michong Son to recoup reimbursements they received for reportedly submitting false or fraudulent Medicaid claims, according to the suit.

To generate business, Choi and Son allegedly paid a person to recruit Medicaid patients. They purportedly paid the recruiter a $110 fee per Medicaid patient who received dental services beyond routine care like teeth cleanings. These purported actions violate the U.S Anti-Kickback Statute and the state's Dental Health Partnership Provider manual. It is illegal to pay kickbacks or bribes to induce a person to refer another for care that will be paid in full or in part by a U.S. healthcare program.

"Defendants acted with actual knowledge, deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard of the laws, regulations and guidance applicable to the Medicaid program when submitting claims for dental services," according to the suit.

The dentists and the practices received Medicaid reimbursements stemming from kickback-tainted patient claims between April 1, 2018, to Jan. 12, 2020. The reimbursements would not have been paid if Medicaid knew they stemmed from kickbacks, according to the complaint.

Finally, the U.S. is seeking to recover all available damages and other monetary relief under the law or "equitable theories of unjust enrichment and payment by mistake of fact," as well as statutory damages and civil penalties. Connecticut is seeking damages and penalties allowable under state law, according to the suit.

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