October 6, 2014

THE MONEY NEEDS TO COME OUT OF YOUR POCKET:

Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? (Kiera Butler, Oct. 6, 2014, Mother Jones)

[I] came across an op-ed in ADA News, the official publication of the American Dental Association. The article, by longtime pediatric dentist Jeffrey Camm, described a disturbing trend he called "creative diagnosis"--the peddling of unnecessary treatments. William van Dyk, a Northern California dentist of 41 years, saw Camm's op-ed and wrote in: "I especially love the patients that come in for second opinions after the previous dentist found multiple thousands of dollars in necessary treatment where nothing had been found six months earlier. And, when we look, there is nothing to diagnose."

"In recent years, I have been seeing more and more creative diagnosis," Camm told me when I called him at his practice in Washington state. A dentist, he said, might think, "'Well, the insurance covers this crown, so I'm not hurting this patient, so why don't I just do it?' That's the absolutely wrong approach." [...]

Some corporate dentists appear to have crossed the line into fraud. In 2010, Small Smiles, a venture-capital-owned chain with offices in 20 states, was ordered to refund $24 million to the government after an investigation found that its dentists had been performing unnecessary extractions, fillings, and root canals on children covered by Medicaid. A new lawsuit alleges that some toddlers it treated underwent as many as 14 procedures--often under restraint and without anesthesia. (The group was banned from Medicaid this year.) Several other pediatric dentistry chains have been sued over similar allegations.

Posted by at October 6, 2014 3:55 PM
  

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