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 Shelburne 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!”

Editing to add (4/8/17):

New Hampshire orthodontist ,Dr. Nicholas Marshall, faced a possible 1,300 year sentence for 160 counts of fraud, totaling $781.  NONE of those numbers are typos.  Read it again.  A two-day trial exonerated him.  How much did it cost the state to pursue this arguably FRIVOLOUS witch hunt?  How much did it cost the good doctor to prove his innocence?

I dare say any dentist who agrees to expose him or herself to these kinds of risks are out of their fucking minds.  Or, at least, woefully ignorant of the minefield they are tap-dancing through.

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.  They claim a delusional moral high ground and pretend they’re “helping the poor.”  Anyone who would dare disagree (or point out the pitfalls of participation) are labeled as “uncaring” and even “prejudiced.”

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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26 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.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Congrats, Leonard! I’ll spread the news!

      • Additional update: my battle against
        Corrupt Governmental agents will now
        Be showcased in an upcoming article
        In a magazine article which will have
        Wide circulation throughout the country
        ( paid circulation of one million plus ! ).
        I will send you the link once it is in print.
        I changed the law , omissions are now
        Considered also as fabrications and NOT
        Just affirmative lies, as the law used to be! Bad system with no oversight of
        Prosecutorial misconduct done solely
        For political expediency.


        Leonard Morse DDS

    • Mary Pantone says:

      Please remove personal email of Dr Weber and please link to my blog and I will share with my 99K following this.

      • The Dental Warrior says:

        That comment went to spam (because of the link). I just deleted it. Fee free to put your blog link in a comment. I’ll approve it. 🙂

  5. Mary Pantone says:

    Manalapan Dentist and office manager awarded $40M in similar malicious prosecution case inspired by Dr Leonard Morse.

    • Mary Pantone says:

      Read about sealed Settlement but Dr Weber disclosing what results were. That’s all they allowed and only settlement was for legal fees of his , his wife’s and a decade of lost earnings.

  6. Marc Weber says:

    Sorry but I have to do that? If you knew my case you’d want to hug us just as the jurors did outside the courthouse. Unfortunately NJ couldn’t accept they prosecuted the wrong person and they ruined my life for a long time?
    They write FAKE news from 17 years ago still on page 1? So I do or did what I had to?

  7. Marc Weber says:

    This was just an example of lies? The chart reads last Dr of record was Mark Wassef my associate was referred U.G. by me to impress prep and complete 23-26?
    This was my first complaint in 2001 and my lawyer suggested that since my only complaint since 1991 graduation I just not argue with the Board, refund patient and accept liability for my associate never thinking everything I ever did was to be one day used to revoke a license never sued once for any dentistry I had done over a 20 year career? READ THE CHART
    Similarly, Weber’s effort to assign fault for U.G.’s treatment to others is not supported by the record.   The record established that Weber did all of the work with the exception of the installation of one crown.   Weber defends the care received by K.H., but the violations found regarding this patient were related to fraud amounting to misconduct, not the quality of the care.

    • Marc Weber says:

      My next complaint came in again 2005 . In fact I wasn’t even licensed at the time due to a 18 month leave?
      2004-2007 was when 90% of complaints came in and all but 3? We showed I was not even in the office??
      The only complaint was LH which was financial and if clinical why again “No lawsuit filed?” I was no longer the owner and this patient besides being in temps over 2 years and she was missing from her family for 18 months when I continued to call my old practice and ask if she came for her insert? How can my 1 prep be liable as iatrogenic Dentistry by Condello if they were looking at 2 year old dental work never completed with x rays taken years later?? Who’s temps last 4 years?

  8. Marc Weber says:

    This is a disgrace altogether and is all about my acquittal and refusals to accept a plea agreement!
    How is this still so high in search ??
    If you read transcripts of this hearing this is something to be ashamed of but not by me but anyone who can’t figure out what happened here? Where’s the transcripts of the real case not this nonsense of people that have never filed a malpractice case? If I was so awful I would have at least 1-2 malpractice cases? Why don’t I have any complaints except for this Red Bank office during 2005-07? I wasn’t even licensed most of 05?

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi, Marc.

      I’m admittedly having trouble following your disjointed comments here. But, apparently, you were also involved in a Medicaid fraud case?

  9. Marc Weber says:

    Here are my practices
    1991-Marc WEBER family practice
    Ave U Brooklyn
    Herald Square NYC
    White House Dental White House station nj
    WEBER Dental 1995-2006
    Pt pleasant dental
    Asburry park dental
    I then was an associate 2007-2010
    Edison NJ
    2010 -2015
    Opened Dungan hills dental Staten Island
    2015 I was so harassed I lost 80% of my practice in Staten Island and sold
    Where are 99% and When? Red Bank
    No complaints in over 7 practices? All but 2 outside the 2005-07 window?
    You don’t see anything strange? I also went through a divorce late 04-06. I admit I had a drinking problem and volunteered myself for PAP and never once failed a screen? If I had I signed that I would surrender my license and I was tested 1-2x a week 2006-2013 when I lost NJ license?
    Where’s my real trial? 2 jurors became patients? Of the 11 counts only 3 went to the jury? The lead detective and witnesses were dismissed by the judge for (I can’t say but why are witnesses thrown off stands?). We showed who belonged not just on trial but they were guilty?
    Google Andrew Marin dds NY NJ dentist

  10. Marc Weber says:

    It’s ok. I not only was acquitted but we showed who they should’ve indicted but Dr Morse is the hero and NJ won by doing this. I also had Jon Norinsberg Esq for a lawyer but he was too much in debt from appeals he needed $40,000 to file my same case in federal courts. I was wiped out financially and couldn’t? I had to defend my wife as well? I’m sorry but if you read the real case? You wouldn’t react the same way. Where are the malpractice cases?

  11. Marc Weber says:

    I thank you for your interest and god bless you. This can happen to anyone and I chose to stop fighting and go on with our lives? I have 3 open cases still but how much can a person take?
    This went on from 2001-2016 non stop.
    I know why but I can’t speak out.
    Those who know me? They know the truth and those who believe everything they read? I pray for them as well.
    I’m grateful for this time.

  12. Marc Weber says:

    Dear Dr Morse
    I was working on my very similar suit with John when you were in appeals .
    Congratulations I couldn’t take it anymore after 16 years of lies and when I went through an insane hearing of lies lies lies? I just got out of my own way to live my life on hold 15 years and never getting justice even after I was acquitted in 2010-2011. I realized this was about draining me financially and I was just sinking in quick sand the harder we fought and the more cases we won?
    I needed a lawyer on contingency but John was wiped out just prior to your settlement. I wish I could have continued but after things got worse after being acquitted? How can we keep fighting? They controlled everything? Even an acquittal didn’t help and actually made them angrier

  13. Marc Weber says:

    Thank you Jesus Christ for my precious daughter and son. I’m grateful for the light I was given to get out of that endless path to nowhere!

  14. Marc Weber says:

    At this hearing? There were 4 of 7 patients who admitted they were told what to say and as in the criminal case broke down and told this judge they were forced into testifying against me and my wife. The other few people were not even my responsibilities? If the complaint was financial in nature and I was not the owner? They changed the complaint and thus why not a single malpractice case?
    If I was the owner it was made financially motivated? These patients besides WR who lost in court we’re all refunded if I my practices were paid? I wasn’t reimbursing patients who paid another practice? I certainly wasn’t going to if I was not the dr and also didn’t own the practice like K.H. who’s father’s complaint had nothing to do with anything clinical? She was refunded as well by the owner who was paid. LV was financial and he had the wrong tooth extracted by the owner who lost his license and had 52 malpractice cases 2010-2016.
    These post 2006 cases are not clinical and they are not my financial liability?
    Read my criminal case and you’ll see what this is about? I was tried for patients I never treated or in a practice I didn’t own. Says my lawyer I thank you for this great opportunity and hope this never happens to anyone again.
    It’s awful but when acquitted in quite as Moderator asked “Didn’t I also have Medicaid issues?” You realize justice is beyond reach. Same case same investigators and same year.

  15. Maureen Rice says:

    Dr. Morse was my dentist for years..I had no insurance and needed a lot of work..he allowed me to pay what I could for as long as it took me..I’m glad he won his case, but angry there was a case to begin with..a dangerous situation by an elected official that caused massive disruption in a family’s lives..

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      You are exactly right. The case was a politically-motivated farce. Hmmmm… yeah, that never happens in America? Riiiiiight?

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