In 2011, state regulators announced that they were taking a giant stride toward fighting blatant insurance fraud. They said they had identified nearly four dozen dentists and orthodontists who had ripped off taxpayers by billing Medicaid tens of millions of dollars for children’s braces that they knew weren’t covered by the public insurance program.
More than two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs later, however, the investigation has few, if any outright victories to show for its efforts. A few dentists have settled without admitting criminal guilt, and, in cases that have gone to a judge, the government’s lawyers have been soundly defeated.
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