A dentist has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to billing Medicaid for dental services that were not provided.

Robin Lockwood, D.D.S. was employed by Ocean Dental, a chain of 30 dental clinics operating in seven states.  Ocean Dental states on its web site that providing dental care to low income patients covered by Medicaid is an important part of its mission.

Each state is required to provide certain basic dental benefits to children covered by Medicaid, including relief of pain and infections, restoration of teeth, and maintenance of dental health.  Dental benefits for adults are covered by Medicaid only if the state chooses to provide such coverage.

Lockwood was charged with one count of health care fraud earlier this year.  The fraud charges carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The government alleged that she falsified treatment notes submitted by Ocean Dental for Medicaid reimbursement.  She benefited from the scheme because she received a percentage of the reimbursement for her services.

The government also alleged that Lockwood billed for multi-surface fillings that she did not complete, upcoded bills to receive a higher reimbursement rate than the procedures justified, and billed for services not reimbursable by Medicaid by using a different billing code.

According to the government, patient x-rays and other evidence established that Lockwood was creating false claims for submission to Medicaid.

If you are being audited or investigated, or if you have been charged with submitting false claims to Medicaid, then you should consult with an experienced Medicaid fraud attorney immediately.  To arrange a free and confidential consultation by phone or in person, call my office today at (917) 652-6504 or click here to contact me via email.

John Howley, Esq.

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