80-Year Old Orthodontist Under OAG Hammer Declares Bankruptcy 


You may have thought the great HHSC/Xerox/Conduent Orthodontic Medicaid Fraud Debacle of 2007 to 2012 was over when the state settled with Xerox/Conduent back in February.

Nope.

Several dentists still under the gun

There are still a few dentists and their practices under the hammer from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on allegations of Medicaid fraud. The tale is long and tiring to recount so we have included a lot of links to past stories that explain the full story.

Cases separated from OIG in 2014

These dentists’ cases were separated out from OIG back in late 2014, shortly after the resignation of then-HHSC Chief Counsel Jack Stick and the forced resignation of then-IG Doug Wilson at the hands of Gov. Rick Perry.

Several have years-old SOAH decisions in their favor

The dentists in question, Antoine Dental Center, M&M Orthodontic, Harlingen Family Dentistry, Richard Herrscher PC, National Orthodontix and RGV Smiles, had sought to get a speedy trial before a jury in Travis County District Court rather than stay within the ridiculous HHSC administrative system.

After all, both Harlingen Family Dentistry and Antoine Dental Center had prevailed in their SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings) payment hold hearings with no findings of Medicaid fraud.

Yet, the OAG, OIG, and HHSC, particularly in the case of Antoine Dental Center, has tried almost every shift to negate those rulings.

Irony of no swift trial

In an ironic twist for these few dentists, there has been no speedy trial. Their cases have languished for one reason or another over the last five years.

All other dentists with similar allegations against them had their claims swiftly settled one way or another when Stuart Bowen took over as Inspector General after the ill-fated Doug Wilson. Unfortunately, unlike Bowen seeking to settle these questionable fraud claims, the OAG has wanted to pursue them against these dentists.

So now, after its settlement with Xerox, the OAG has apparently taken up the cudgel again against these dentists.

Bankruptcy rather than his day in court

TDMR has learned the most recent upshot of this course of action is the bankruptcy of Richard Herrscher PC.

Apparently, no big deal to the state. Just an 80+-year-old healthcare professional who won’t see his day in court. He has only been under the strain of accusations of Medicaid fraud for the past seven years during which he had cancer and two heart attacks. A suitable reward for spending the better part of his life serving those less fortunate.

Certainly not a case of justice served.

Further delays up to two years for the others

Another freakish fallout from this bankruptcy is that the cases against the other providers are stalled because they were all grouped under one lawsuit by OAG.  It has been said it may take up to two years before they move again.

This whole thing is a shame, and that’s why we’re letting you know.

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