JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Thursday that his office has awarded $8,239 to a whistleblower in a Medicaid fraud case who alerted the state to fraudulent billings by a group of dental clinics.
The whistleblower contacted Koster's office in January 2011 with concerns about Ozark Family Dentistry and Arrash Ahmadnia, the owner of the clinic. Ahmadnia owns dental clinics in Springfield, Osceola, Thayer and Rolla. The whistleblower was a former employee at one of the clinics and told Koster's office that Ahmadnia asked him to perform unnecessary work on patients, presumably to bill the costs to the state Medicaid program.
"Medicaid fraud tips are an important part of our efforts to investigate and punish Medicaid fraud," Koster said. "We encourage anyone who suspects a health care provider is engaged in Medicaid fraud to contact our office so we can investigate."
Koster's office alleged that the clinics billed Medicaid for treatments under the code for dental fillings after performing a different procedure - preventive resin restoration. Preventive resin restorations are not covered by Medicaid. Ahmadnia also allegedly engaged in some instances of double billing and billing for ineligible adults.
The whistleblower will receive 10 percent of the $82,000 that Ahmadnia is paying in restitution and penalties to the state of Missouri.
Under the terms of the settlement, Ahmadnia must pay more than $208,000 in restitution and penalties to the federal and state Medicaid programs and stop submitting reimbursement claims to Medicaid for preventive resin restoration treatments.
Ahmadnia did not admit wrongdoing as part of the agreement.