Citing a "five-month investigation" by its Washington, DC, affiliate, WJLA, the broadcasting company reported that the Small Smiles chain of clinics restrains children as a method of saving time during dental procedures.
The chain accepts Medicaid patients turned away by most dentists, according to ABC, but compensates for the lower reimbursement rate per patient by boosting volume.
The report describes children who "cried for their mothers while they were strapped into restraining devices." It also quotes former employees who accuse the company of pushing unnecessary treatments on its patients. Some workers were reportedly fired for objecting to how children were handled.
Forba Holdings, the company that owns Small Smiles, disputed the report, according to ABC. It quoted Forba chairman and CEO Michael Lindley as saying, "The story does not accurately reflect the facts and our responsible approach to patient care."
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