When is the last time you visited the dentist? Following the imposed lockdowns in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, many medical offices were closed for several months. However, in recent weeks, businesses and medical practices alike have opened to the public with extreme safety measures in place.
Many people, however, are concerned about the prospect of opening their mouths for their newly-scheduled dental appointments. As a result, most dentists are doing all they can to assure their patients that their offices are safe environments. Dr. Yun Sup Kim of St. Louis, Illinois is one dentist who won’t need to concern himself about the health of his patients. That’s because he’ll be spending the next year in federal prison.
Kim pleaded guilty to three counts of health care fraud.
As reported by the Southern District of Illinois branch of the United States Department of Justice last week, Kim admitted to defrauding Illinois Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of several years. Back in February, the disgraced dentist pleaded guilty to three counts of health care fraud. Last Friday morning, he appeared via videoconference at the federal courthouse in Benton, Illinois. He was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison.
“The case against Kim arose from a regulatory audit initiated in 2015 after claims data showed Kim had performed more cavity fillings and surgical tooth extractions than nearly any other dentist in Illinois,” reports the DoJ, “Investigators discovered that from August 2014 through December 2017, Kim had repeatedly submitted false bills for cavity fillings and surgical tooth extractions.”
Kim submitted over 1,300 false claims.
According to court records, there were over 1,300 patients for whom Kim falsely claimed to have performed eight or more cavity fillings in a single day. In court, he admitted that he did not actually numb, drill and fill cavities in those teeth. Kim conceded that he, in fact, billed simple extractions to Medicaid as if they had been surgical extractions. Surgical extractions, of course, are more expensive.
In addition, Kim confessed that he had falsified dates of service on numerous occasions. He did this to evade Medicaid billing rules for dental sealants. Back in April, Kim agreed to a plea deal. As part of it, he agreed to the entry of a consent decree revoking his license to practice dentistry in the state of Illinois.
“Kim’s sentence also includes restitution to Illinois Medicaid and Medicaid managed care organizations in the amount of $671,845.20, which Kim has already paid in full,” the DoJ reports. They go on to divulge that Kim was ordered to self-surrender for his prison term on November 13, 2020. As well, a one-year term of supervised release was imposed.
Are you an attorney who is currently trying a health care fraud case?
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