The state of Massachusetts is suing orthodontist Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah for allegedly submitting more than $1 million in false claims to MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program. The scam reportedly included keeping kids in braces longer than required and deceptive billing for mouthguards.
The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk County Superior Court on February 25, asserts that Rizkallah submitted false claims from at least November 2013 to the present with the intent to defraud MassHealth out of millions of dollars.
The orthodontist reportedly put braces only on a child's upper teeth at the beginning of orthodontic treatment even though he could have put braces on the bottom as well. Engaging in this practice extended the patient's treatment time and increased the amount Rizkallah collected from MassHealth, the lawsuit claims.
Rizkallah and his associates also allegedly billed the program for custom-fitted sports mouthguards when the patients neither requested nor needed them. Additionally, the type of mouthguards provided were not custom-fitted as required by MassHealth, but rather the type sold in retail stores, according to the lawsuit.
The attorney general's office is suing to recover treble damages plus civil monetary penalties. The lawsuit is against Rizkallah and his two companies, Dr. Mouhab Z. Rizkallah DDS MSD PC and the Braces Place of Lawrence.