February 28, 2013 — When unethical dentists bill state Medicaid programs for children’s dentistry that is ineligible, unnecessary or never even performed, we all pay the price. Medicaid healthcare programs are funded jointly by state and federal governments. Medicaid funds ought to be devoted to help children in need — not unscrupulous dentists. The first people to see Medicaid fraud as it is happening are frequently dentists and dental clinic staff who choose to inform and collaborate with the government to end the fraud.
Federal Prosecutors Target Fraud Allegations Against Medicaid Dental Clinics
When Dr. Kristi Ayn Liebau-Grassi practiced dentistry near Erie, Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2011, the dentist submitted almost $290,000 in phony charges to the state’s Medicaid program. Most of the claims were for dental work involving children. According to news sources, Liebau-Grassi was practicing at the UPMC Hamot Surgery Center and in Lawrence Park Township at the time. The dentist pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud charges in September 2012.
The 40-year-old dentist, now living in Houston, Texas, has recently been sentenced by a federal judge in Pennsylvania. Liebau-Grassi faced a recommended prison sentence of twelve to eighteen months according to federal sentencing guidelines.
The dentist begged the judge to consider her five children, however, one of whom struggles with a congenital heart defect and other problems. The judge obliged the dentist by imposing only a four month prison sentence, with eight months of house arrest to follow.
Dental Clinic Employee Insiders Help Fight Medicaid Fraud
To encourage dentists and dental staff to notify the government about Medicaid fraud, the federal False Claims Act contains qui tam provisions that authorize whistleblowers to file a lawsuit for the government and keep a substantial share of any money recovered.
Collaborators need to be informed about their legal rights. The attorneys at Waters & Kraus give courageous informants the experienced representation they deserve. Contact us or call our whistleblower lawyers at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our dental Medicaid fraud practice.