Kentucky Dentist Pleads Guilty to Healthcare Fraud

Dentistry Today


Denver D. Tackett, a licensed dentist who owned and operated Tackett Family Dentistry in McDowell, Kentucky, has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud before US District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove.

According to the plea agreement, Tackett submitted false and unnecessary claims to Kentucky Medicaid for reimbursement for dental procedures and services performed at his practice. He admitted to performing and submitting claims for dental procedures that were not reasonable or necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of a patient’s illness or injury.

For example, Tackett submitted claims for surgical extractions when he had only performed a simple extraction, a lower reimbursing procedure, or a surgical extraction was not medically necessary.

In total, Tackett admitted to submitting more than $95,000 in reimbursement claims to Kentucky Medicaid and its fiscal intermediaries for medically unnecessary dental procedures.

As part of his plea agreement, Tackett agreed to permanently surrender his Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration and agreed to refrain from seeking registration in the future. Without a DEA registration, healthcare professionals aren’t able to lawfully prescribe controlled substances. 

Tackett also agreed to pay restitution of at least $70,000 and agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $20,000. He was indicted in April 2019 as part of the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force initiative.

Tackett is scheduled to be sentenced on December 15, 2020. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the US Sentencing Guidelines and federal sentencing statutes.

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