A Jacksonville, Florida dentist has been accused of needlessly pulling children’s teeth as part of a Medicaid fraud scheme in which he got paid “per tooth,” reported RawStory.
Dr. Howard Schneider, 78, was served with 58 notices of intent to sue by angry patients who accuse the dentist of performing unwarranted tooth removal procedures. Protesters rallied for three weeks outside of his Jacksonville-based offices. The Florida Attorney General’s Office has opened a Medicaid fraud investigation involving claims that go back decades.
The investigation and protests erupted after Brandi Mosley, whose 6-year-old daughter underwent surgery at Schneider’s office, posted a photo of her daughter on Facebook in May. Schneider pulled seven of the kid’s teeth.
“The nurse suggested that it’s best, that kids act better when parents aren’t in the room, so they said, ‘We don’t like parents back here for the procedures,” said Motley. The nurse then said that her daughter was involved in an “incident.”
“She takes her gauze out and I notice that all of her teeth are gone,” said Motley.
In the past five years, Schneider received $4 million in Medicaid reimbursements. An attorney representing the families said the dentist preyed on poor families in this scheme.
“Medicaid paid him per tooth,” said attorney Gust Sarris. “So can I cap a tooth twice? Yes. Can I then pull it? Yes. Can I then successfully obtain benefits for all three? Absolutely.”
Schneider maintains his innocence, but the evidence suggests that he defrauded the government and used children to do it. Schneider should be put away for a long time.