Fla. dentist arrested for Medicaid fraud

A Florida dentist has been arrested for allegedly billing the state's Medicaid program for $140,000 in dental services that were either unauthorized or not provided.

Miranda W. Smith, DDS, owner of Smiles and Giggles Dentistry for Children and Adults in Pasco County, billed Medicaid for x-rays, anesthesia, and other dental procedures that were not performed, according to a statement by State Attorney General Pam Bondi.

The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated Dr. Smith after receiving complaints about suspicious billing from parents and patients. Additionally, former patients alleged that Smith's employees provided dental care, even though these employees were not licensed dentists.

At least one minor patient's parent was told her child had eight cavities and would need to be sedated to perform urgent dental work, the attorney general said. The parent received a second opinion from an experienced dentist who found the child had no cavities.

Investigators also found that Dr. Smith and her staff showed a pattern of pulling healthy teeth in an effort to sell patients dentures and make larger Medicaid claims.

Smith is being charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

The Florida Board of Dentistry has suspended Dr. Smith's license.

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