Going to the dentist is often unpleasant enough without worrying that your doctor will perform a procedure while riding a hoverboard, but prosecutors in Alaska say one dentist not only defrauded the state out of millions, but he apparently did so while moving around on motorized wheels.
The state of Alaska Department of Law announced this week that it charged an Anchorage dentist with 17 counts of Medicaid fraud after he allegedly billed Medicaid $1.9 million last year for unneeded sedation.
According to the indictment, the doctor began offering intravenous sedation to Medicaid patients as an alternative to more common (and less costly) anesthetics for dental procedures.
At times, the doctor offered sedation for patient procedures that didn’t require any kind of anesthesia.
In one instance, the Associated Press reports, the doctor allegedly put a patient under sedation when it wasn’t required, and then proceeded to pull her tooth while riding a hoverboard.
The dentist allegedly sent the video to his office manager. The patient told investigators that she was unaware of the incident.
Following procedures where the doctor used IV sedation he would allegedly bill Medicaid for the medication under a different provider ID in the amount of up to $2,049 for the service and sent the money directly to his home.
The indictment claims that the doctor’s practice alone was responsible for 31% of the total Medicaid payments for IV sedation in 2016.
In cases where a patient had private insurance that wouldn’t cover the IV sedation, the doctor allegedly offered to provide the medication for a $450 flat fee.
Medicaid regulations specifically prohibit providers from billing Medicaid more than the general public is charged for the same service.
In all, the state claims that since obtaining his IV sedation license in 2015, the has billed Medicaid $2.5 million, of which he was then paid $1.9 million.