Former dentist Michael Clair has been convicted of dental Medicaid fraud and sentenced to two and a half year’s jail time. Clair has admitted that, in his dental practice in Fall River, Massachusetts, he used bits of paper clips in place of stainless steel posts when performing root canals on his patients.
Clair used the paper clips to save money, but he billed Medicaid for the standard stainless-steel posts. Clair was convicted of filing false claims under the False Claims Act and of assault and battery against his patients. Permanently implanting paper clips in the root canal can cause pain and result in inflections.
Dental Medicaid fraud is a significant problem in our country. Dentists sometimes perform unnecessary procedures in order to bill Medicaid for them or, alternatively, bill Medicaid for services they have not provided. Many of the unnecessary procedures that are done in order to profit from Medicaid are invasive and painful, and it is particularly disturbing that many of the procedures are also often done on children. This misconduct may remain undiscovered unless someone aware of the fraud such as an associate dentist or hygienist working in the office comes forward as a whistleblower.