- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Canton Doctor Settles Allegations of Illegal Patient Kickback Schemes
Boston — A Canton dentist and his practice will pay $135,000 to resolve allegations that they were running an illegal kickback scheme that led to improper payments from the state’s Medicaid Program (MassHealth), Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Under the terms of a settlement agreement, Dr. Nathaniel Chan of Canton and his practice Advanced Dental Arts, which has locations in Quincy, Scituate, and Norwell, resolves allegations that they were operating a customer rewards scheme that provided monetary incentives and raffle prizes to customers who attended more appointments and referred more patients to the practice. This kind of incentive is a violation of state law and may encourage patients to book or refer medically unnecessary appointments paid for by MassHealth.
“This dentist orchestrated an illegal kickback scheme to boost his own profits at the expense of our MassHealth program, which provides health care to some of our most vulnerable populations,” said AG Healey. “Dental providers need to know that we will enforce state law to protect these resources.”
The AG’s Office alleges that from October 2014 through December 2017, Dr. Chan and Advanced Dental Arts operated a loyalty program where patients earned monetary incentives and entries into a monthly raffle drawing based on the number of times they received treatment at Advanced Dental Arts and the number of patients they referred to the practice. Prizes for this raffle included Apple TVs, tickets to the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins, and an Amazon Kindle Fire. Monetary incentives escalated based on the number of treatments received and patients referred, ranging from $25 - $100 in gift cards, as well as birthday dinner gift certificates for “VIP” members.
Addressing wrongdoing at dental practices is a focus of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Division. In January 2018, Kool Smiles settled for $1.7 million to resolve allegations that the practice performed medically unnecessary dental work on children. The Division also reached settlements with Dental Dreams, LLC for more than $1.3 million, which was alleged to have billed MassHealth for unnecessary procedures, and dentist Annie Watson for $500,000, who was alleged to have improperly billed MassHealth for palliative care.
This matter was handled by Managing Attorney Kevin Lownds and Investigator Heather Dwyer, of AG Healey’s Medicaid Fraud Division, with substantial assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and MassHealth.