Covering Louisiana

Aug 20, 2014 5:17 AM by AP

Feds look at La dentists for kids on Medicaid

A federal study says 5 percent of Louisiana dentists treating children under Medicaid may be padding their numbers, overcharging, providing unnecessary treatments or even harming children.

Health and Human Services Department auditors checked 512 dentists. They say 26 of them had questionable billings.

The department inspector general's office looked at dentists who billed the program for at least 50 children in 2012. It says 26 billed for extremely high numbers of children or amounts of money, or showed other possible excesses.

State health department official Calder Lynch says he thinks many of those dentists are among more than 20 the department is already investigating.

State Medicaid director Ruth Kennedy says that, because of the study, a company was hired in July to manage Medicaid dental benefits.

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