Monday, September 17, 2012

The Morning Drill: September 17, 2012

Humberto Perez, 81, (in the middle) walked out of jail early Thursday after posting bond. He was arrested the day before on charges of practicing dentistry without a license, unlicensed practice of the health care profession, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

Good Monday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Man Arrested for Illegal Dentistry Leaves Jail

The elderly man accused of running a makeshift dental office out of his Little Havana home walked out of jail early Thursday after posting bond.

Humberto Perez, 81, was arrested Wednesday on charges of practicing dentistry without a license, unlicensed practice of the health care profession, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

He left jail without comment around 5 a.m.

His wife, 69-year-old Maria Perez, was also arrested on those charges, while his daughter, 38-year-old Odalis Hernandez Perez, was charged with child neglect. Both posted bond and were released from jail late Wednesday.

Grand Blanc dentist sentenced to drug court, probation for prescription fraud

A Grand Blanc dentist accused of picking up prescriptions he wrote for himself under fake names was sentenced to probation and the county's drug court program on Tuesday.

Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut sentenced Anthony Carbajal to the treatment program and to 1 year, 6 months probation after he pleaded no contest to three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and possession of analogs.

He was also sentenced to eight days of time served in the Genesee County Jail.

Carbajal's attorney, Matthew Norwood, said the assignment to drug court will allow him to get the treatment he needs and end up with a clean criminal record.

"At the end of treatment, his charges will be dismissed," Norwood said.

Police say Carbajal was calling in prescriptions for the pain killer hydrocodone under a fake patient's name and then going to pick them up at various pharmacies.

He picked up a prescription on April 23 at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Silver Lake Road, but employees suspected fraud and called police. Police made a traffic stop and found 40 pills of hydrocodone.

Carbajal has had a history of drug use, according to the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. He was put on probation in 2009 after testing positive for cocaine, according to state records. He was ordered to take random drug screenings.

After entering a 10-day substance abuse program in July 2009, he returned to his Grand Blanc office about a month later, according to records.

Dental Care Has Decayed for Low Income Families

Like millions of Americans, Miami resident Claribel Agramonte could not afford dental insurance, so she looked for an inexpensive dentist to fix her 14-year-old daughter's broken tooth. A friend recommended Humberto Francisco Perez, an 81-year old "backyard dentist" who said he could do the work on the cheap.

Police say Perez left the girl permanently disfigured.

They said Perez filed four of the girl's front teeth all the way down to the gums, then tried to replace them with an iron bar painted white. For weeks after the procedure, the child cried and complained of pain and sensitivity.

Finally, her mother took her to a professional dentist and filed a police report. In an undercover sting operation run by the Miami police department, Perez was arrested and charged with child abuse, child negligence, and providing dentistry services without a license.

The Agramonte case may be an extreme example of underground dentistry gone wrong, but Frank Catalanotto, the chair of the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science at the University of Florida, said it happens all too frequently in communities where dental insurance is as scarce as hen's teeth and people cannot afford the services of a licensed dentist.

Grand jury indicts dentist's wife, office manager on fraud charges

A Fort Worth grand jury indicted an office manager and an Amarillo orthodonist’s wife on Wednesday on multiple federal charges, alleging they bilked Medicaid out of more than $1.5 million.

Last month, a grand jury indicted Michael David Goodwin, 63, on 11 counts of health care fraud for claims from January 2008 to March 2011, court records show. Nearly all of Goodwin’s patients during that time were Medicaid beneficiaries, prosecutors said.

A revised indictment released Wednesday alleged Goodwin’s wife, Patricia Yolanda Goodwin, and office manager, Annette Hastings, took part in plans to commit health care fraud and to defraud Medicaid. The grand jury also indicted Michael Goodwin on a conspiracy to commit health care fraud charge.

Patricia Goodwin made business decisions, supervised employees, handled payroll and coordinated her husband’s schedule, prosecutors said. Hastings, who began working in Goodwin’s office in February 2009, managed patient scheduling, Medicaid billing claims and made all business decisions when the couple was out of town, the indictment said.

The indictments came after the FBI reviewed Michael Goodwin’s personal and business finances for more than a year.

Prosecutors said Michael Goodwin defrauded Medicaid by performing cosmetic procedures he claimed were medical necessities. The trio filled out Medicaid reimbursement forms before seeing patients and regularly scheduled more than 100 patients a day — more than one doctor could treat following Medicaid rules and minimum care standards, the indictment said.

Enjoy your mornng!

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