How to avoid health care fraud

Dental treatments performed by nonprofessionals
Dental treatments performed by nonprofessionals © Simone van den Berg/

An Oklahoma dentist accused of allowing unlicensed employees to give IVs to patients made nationwide headlines earlier this year after some patients were alleged to have contracted hepatitis due to the purported use of contaminated instruments.

While it's not something you see every day, it happens, and industry professionals such as James Quiggle, communications director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, say you can take steps to ascertain that your dentist employs ethical practices. One such step is to scope out dentists you're considering.

"Go to two or three dental offices and get a sense of the comfort level of that office, how clean it is, how professional and whether it's up-to-date and well-lit," says Quiggle. While dental scams are not as common as some other types of health care fraud, the results obtained by an unscrupulous dentist can be life-altering in a terrible way.

How to spot it: If you have dental insurance, check your explanation of benefits statement and make sure it matches the work you had performed. If the office seems unsanitary or the staff not properly trained, trust your instincts and find someone else.

What to do: Quiggle suggests contacting your state dental licensing board as well as your state department of insurance.


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