Congress is trying to make a ruling on fraud in Texas.
The state of Texas paid more than $400 million on braces on the teeth of children covered by Medicaid from 2008 to 2010, according to WFAA television in Texas. That total exceeded the combined amount of the rest of the country, according to records obtained by WFAA.
The House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee looked at this issue earlier this week. The Texas Dental Board faced questions about the corporations that practice dentistry. This was a major issue, since it’s illegal for a corporation to practice dentistry in Texas. The Texas Dental Board, however, says it doesn’t have the ability to enforce this law.
This issue came to light after a company called All Smiles, a chain of dental clinics owned by a venture-capital firm, made more than $10 million from Texas Medicaid in 2010 for orthodontic work.
Up to this point, most of the taxpayer money that covered these alleged cases of dental work has yet to be recouped.
In other states, like Minnesota, there have been cases in which Medicaid-managed care providers and the state create an inside deal to make money. Texas enacted managed care for Medicaid dental services last month.
Despite the allegations, none of the alleged Medicaid fraud has been proven in court at this point. No dentist has been prosecuted for the alleged fraud either.
The United States will spend $7 trillion on Medicaid in the next decade, according to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who was one of the Congress members at this hearing.