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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Iowa Dental Clinic and Its Owners Agree to Pay More Than $300,000 To Resolve Allegations the Clinic Submitted Claims for Unnecessary Procedures or Procedures that Did Not Happen

Lifepoint Dental Group, LLC, and its owners, Aaron Blass, Angelina Blass, D.D.S., Mindy Richtsmeier, D.D.S., and Brad Richtsmeier, D.D.S., have agreed to pay more than $300,000 to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims for dental procedures, including scalings and root planings, that were either medically unnecessary or did not happen.  The government’s allegations concern claims submitted by Lifepoint’s Cedar Rapids location between April 1, 2015, and October 1, 2015. 

Allegations of wrongdoing were made against the clinic in a qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuit filed by two former Lifepoint employees.  That lawsuit was brought under the False Claims Act, which punishes violators who submit false claims to the government or who knowingly attempt to avoid an obligation to repay federal funds.  The whistleblower provisions allow private parties who have knowledge of fraud committed against the government to file suit on behalf of the government and share in any recovery.  The former employees who filed this lawsuit will receive a share of the total amount recovered.   

“This settlement demonstrates our office’s continued commitment to ensuring all providers play by the rules and beneficiaries receive the quality of care to which they are entitled,” said United States Attorney Kevin W. Techau.  “We are also proud of our cooperation in this matter with federal and state agencies, the citizens who spoke up and filed a qui tam lawsuit alleging wrongdoing, and the clinic and its owners, who cooperated throughout the investigation.  We encourage anyone aware of fraud against the government to speak up and work with us to make the system work for providers, taxpayers, and beneficiaries.” 

The investigation was led by the State of Iowa Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and conducted jointly with the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.  The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 1:16-cv-00049-EJM.

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Topic(s): 
Healthcare Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 7, 2016