Dentists, practices settle U.S., state kickback lawsuit

Gavel Money Lawsuit

Two dentists and their practices in Connecticut have reached a settlement with U.S. and state authorities who sued them in April for allegedly operating a Medicaid kickback scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dr. Bohun Choi and Dr. Michong Son and their practices C&S Family Dental in New Britain and Waterbury, CT, have agreed to pay more than $498,310 to resolve allegations that they violated U.S. and state False Claims acts. The payment will reimburse the U.S. Medicaid program for reported fraudulent claims filed between April 2018 and January 2020, according to a press release dated May 6 from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District Office of Connecticut.

On April 2, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District Office of Connecticut and the Connecticut Office of the District Attorney sued the dentists and the practices to recoup reimbursements they received for reportedly submitting false or fraudulent Medicaid claims.

To build up business, Choi and Son allegedly paid a person to recruit Medicaid patients. They allegedly paid the recruiter a $110 fee per Medicaid patient who received dental services beyond routine care like teeth cleanings in violation of the U.S Anti-Kickback Statute and Connecticut'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.

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 lawsuit.

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