In January of last year, Dr. Juan Villarreal’s long-awaited book “Truth Decay: How Government Corruption Caused a Political Scandal Victimizing Texas Dentists and How It Could Happen to You!” was released on Amazon.com.
“Truth Decay” details Dr. Villarreal’s personal struggles and victories overcoming allegations of Medicaid fraud by the Texas Office of Inspector General and the attendant media circus that afflicted all Texas dentistry starting back in 2011. Dr. Villarreal made it a point to stand up and speak out about the injustice of the allegations, one of the few Texas dentists to do so and was vindicated in court by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
Turning the spotlight on Xerox and HHSC
When the spotlight was turned back on the Health and Human Services Commission and its Office of Inspector General, the agency was caught trying to bankrupt dentists so the state government would not have to repay these alleged fraud monies back to the federal government. Further investigation revealed key bureaucrats, all the way up to the executive commissioner, had their own questionable activities taking advantage of Texas taxpayers and were forced to resign for one reason or another.
The state also sued Xerox, the state’s private contractor running the Texas Medicaid program, which had hired high school graduates and former janitors to rubber stamp orthodontic prior authorization requests from dentists, approving them as “medically necessary.”
Recently released depositions from the case show these unqualified workers were paid as little as $1.50 for each completed request (more revelations to come). Xerox earned millions from the state.
Received honors and continuing success
Since the release of “Truth Decay,” Dr. Villarreal has been honored by the Small Business Administration Lower Rio Grande Valley District and received SBA’s 2017 Entrepreneurial Success Award in May 2017. The award recognizes “small business owners and champions for their hard work, innovativeness, and service to the community, all leading to business success.”
Dr. Villarreal told TDMR that over the last year, things have been going very well. He completed his fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in July 2017. He currently is working on his Masters for the AGD which he expects to complete in late 2018 or early 2019. Only 2% of all dentists in Texas have earned this designation. He is also working on his Diplomate in sleep apnea from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
He is continuing to expand his dental clinics in Austin, Harlingen, Weslaco, McAllen, Edinburg, Raymondville and Brownsville.
Favorable public reaction
About “Truth Decay,” he said he has had a very favorable public reaction to the book since it was released. He still has lots of patients who ask for copies. He has had numerous people come up to him on the street in Harlingen and tell him that they read the book and that they appreciate why he wrote it. He also receives letters from individuals who have read the book telling him that they went through similar experiences with the government. They invariably thank him for saying what needed to be said in the book.
100s of copies distributed to state and federal government officials
Dr. Villarreal told us that he has also been distributing hundreds of digital copies of the book to government officials in Texas, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and Congressmen and Senators and their staff in Washington.
“To be honest, it is disheartening because feedback is so rare from these individuals. I know they are busy, perhaps too busy to read a short book like mine with all that is going on in Austin and Washington, but it would be very nice to get back a response on a topic that is so important to every American and medical provider. Medicaid is undergoing massive changes so I am hoping that there will be some small positive influence I have made to the program.”
We look forward to following with Dr. Villarreal again later this year.