September 6, 2017

Dental chain settles MassHealth case

A national dental practice with locations in Worcester and Leominster has agreed to pay nearly $1.4 million to resolve allegations that it improperly billed MassHealth for unnecessary dental procedures.

Chicago-based Dental Dreams was sued by a former employee and was alleged to have filed false claims to MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program.

The lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act, which provides for whistleblowers to sue on behalf on the government and to receive a share of any recovery.

According to federal investigators, the company took advantage of a vulnerable population by submitting claims to MassHealth for "medically unnecessary and unreasonable dental procedures."

The company allegedly overbilled the program for surgical extractions of teeth and for a specific kind of oral examination.

State and federal investigators announced the settlement Tuesday but didn't disclose the location of the alleged infraction. Dental Dreams operates eight locations in Massachusetts, including two in Worcester and one in Leominster.

Other offices are located in Lawrence, Lowell, Roxbury, Springfield, Fall River, Lynn, New Bedford, Brockton and Raynham, according to the company's website.

In addition to federal investigators, officials in state Attorney General Maura Healey's Medicaid Fraud Division helped handle the case.

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