I Wouldn’t Take Medicaid, If They Paid Double My Fees – Here’s Why

Dr. Morse - photo courtesy NY Daily News

I remember this case from many years ago.  Dr. Leonard Morse of Brooklyn, NY was wrongfully accused of Medicaid fraud by then Attorney General (and now disgraced on multiple levels) Elliot Spitzer.  It took nearly seven years for Dr. Morse to vindicate himself.  He won his lawsuit and was awarded $7.7M, but he lost his practice and his reputation.  $7.7 million isn’t enough in my opinion.  But, I’m glad that Dr. Morse feels vindicated.  He was offered $100,000 to drop his lawsuit against the state.  $100k in exchange for losing his practice, his name, and his honor???   Good on Dr. Morse for standing up for what’s right!

But, That’s Not All!  There’s More!

I’m familiar with a couple of similar cases involving dentists who posted their stories on Dentaltown.  Dr. Roy Shelbourne laid out his story on Dentaltown.  There’s another story by another dentist on DT, but I can’t seem to find it at the moment.  I’ll keep looking and add it here.  Found it!  It’s the story of Dr. Anthony Sanchez in Wisconsin.

Government Help Lines Give Wrong Advice

According to a study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Medicare help lines gave the WRONG answer to doctors’ questions 96% of the time!  NINETY-SIX PERCENT!

Dr. Sanchez reported in his account that he was told by the Medicaid help line that he was doing the right thing.  Do you think the Medicaid help line is any more accurate than the Medicare help line?  “Prolly not!”

Strange and Dangerous Bedfellows

Getting in bed with the federal (or state) government is extremely risky.  When you sign on as a “provider,” you effectively waive your Constitutional Rights.  If you are a Medicaid provider and are even SUSPECTED (or accused by a bitter ex-employee) of improprieties, the feds can padlock your front door, seize your files, and even seize your personal assets… BEFORE due process.  Read that again!  BEFORE DUE PROCESS!  How much are your rights worth?  Considering that I put my life on the line to support and defend the Constitution, mine are priceless.

How Much Would You Pay Now?

Are you willing to risk being the victim of an ambitious state attorney’s witch-hunt?

If the day ever comes that my license to practice is predicated on participation in any socialized program (like Medicaid), I will leave the keys on the counter of my office and walk away.  Such a condition of licensure HAS been suggested by some states’ legislatures!

The Problem Is the System

While I won’t defend fraud in any manner, I contend that the dismally low fees paid by Medicaid are part of the problem.  Those dentists who accept Medicaid struggle to provide care without LOSING money at those fees.  So, many find a way to make it profitable.  Again, there’s no excuse for fraud.  If you can’t make it work, then GET OUT of it.

The bleeding hearts cry about “access to care.”  They even accuse non-participating dentists of being “greedy” and being heartless or not caring about the “poor.”  It’s the dentists’ fault.

Where is the ADA (American Dental Association) on this??  Missing in action!

Rock on, Dr. Morse!

Comments?  Anyone have experience with accusations of fraud?

PS…  Here’s a MUST READ eye-opening interview of Dr. Morse (since his victory in court):  Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform Interview with Dr. Leonard Morse.

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7 Responses to I Wouldn’t Take Medicaid, If They Paid Double My Fees – Here’s Why

  1. Dr. Leonard Morse says:

    Hi, finally almost ten years later
    Have won my lawsuit with a unanimous ruling from the 2nd circuit court of appeals that the government officials who got me
    Indicted used fabricated evidence .
    Tooth numbers are material issues
    Of fact and NOT exculpatory evidence that can legally be omitted
    From a summary of a dentists billings . Great victory for all
    Practitioners !

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      That’s awesome news! Thanks for visiting my blog and updating us. Very cool.

      Sad (and inexcusable) that it took 10 years for justice.

  2. Dr. Leonard Morse says:

    You can read the entire 33 page 2nd
    Circuit Court of Appeals decision on
    Google by searching for : Morse v. Fusto. You can also read comments
    On the case on the : Above The Law
    Web blog. The NY State Dental Association has also published comments about this case on their
    Web page blog.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr. Leonard Morse

  3. Al Anthony says:

    We would like to republish your blog article.

  4. Final case update. After my winning the case in the Federal 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals,
    The government actually took this case to
    The United States Supreme Court. I am
    Thrilled to report that this week we have defeated their Cert petition and actually are
    Finished with the litigation. It took just shy
    Of eleven years to accomplish this !! Warm Regards to all of my supporters this past
    Decade and I would NEVER participate in
    Any government reimbursement plan ever
    Again. This was a total discrase on the part
    Of elected officials who have a sworn duty to
    Uphold the law , not to violate it for their own political expediency.

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