Thursday, 11 April 2013

Orthodontic doctor who 'treated' over 100 patients a day is going to prison

Orthodontic doctor who 'treated' over 100 patients a day is going to prison, An orthodontic dentist who was scheduling to treat more than 100 patients in a single day was sentenced today to prison and almost $2 million in restitution for fraud.

Dr. Michael Goodwin, 63, practiced orthodontic dentistry approximately two weeks each month at Goodwin Orthodontics in Amarillo and approximately two weeks each month at his Indiana office was also practicing health care fraud.

Goodwin was maximizing the number of Medicaid patients seen and intentionally scheduling large numbers of patients for days when he was scheduled to be out of town.

"To accommodate the large volume of patients, Goodwin directed dental assistants to perform impermissible acts, including comprehensive examinations, diagnoses and treatment planning for Medicaid patients when he knew that only licensed dentists were permitted to perform those acts," the Office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced.

Goodwin was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to 50 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1,810,960 in restitution, following his guilty plea in December 2012 to one count of health care fraud related to the Texas Medicaid program.

He will also forfeit $1,558,911, which are the gross proceeds traceable to his offense, as well as more than $244,000 the government seized in May and July 2011 from his JP Morgan Chase accounts.

Judge Robinson ordered that he surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on April 29, 2013.

"According to documents filed in the case, from January 2008 through March 2011, Goodwin devised a scheme to defraud the Texas Medicaid program by billing the program at least $2,626,125 for services he claimed he provided, when in fact, as he well knew, some of the services were not medically necessary, or dental assistants provided those services when no dentist or orthodontist was present to supervise, and even when present, did not directly supervise or provide any services."

"Goodwin devised a generic treatment guideline for dental assistants to follow in treating Medicaid beneficiaries that included dental assistants making treatment decisions at most appointments, without Goodwin examining the patients; confirming or revising the diagnoses; or confirming or revising the treatment plans," the statement said. "Goodwin also caused his billing staff to falsely and fraudulent state on Medicaid claims that he was the performing provider for all services that had been impermissibly delegated to and performed by dental assistants."

In April 2009, Goodwin hired substitute general dentists to create the appearance of direct supervision of dental assistants when he was away from the office. These substitute dentists were not enrolled Medicaid orthodontic providers. These substitutes did not provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries, did not directly supervise the dental assistants who provided the services, and were not always present in the office for orthodontic procedures.

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