ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG ANNOUNCES FALSE CLAIMS ACT SETTLEMENT WITH NEW HAVEN DENTIST
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong today announced a $252,913 settlement with New Haven dentist Robert Sorrentino to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims for oral surgery and maxillofacial services to the Medicaid program.
The settlement was reached jointly with the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office following an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations. The investigation followed a referral from the Connecticut Department of Social Services' (DSS) Office of Quality Assurance.
"Robert Sorrentino falsely overcharged the Medicaid program for dental services and procedures he did not perform. This settlement sends a message that the Office of the Attorney General will vigorously pursue such fraud to deter future bad acts and protect taxpayer-funded healthcare programs," said Attorney General Tong.
“This settlement is further evidence that DSS investigators and our state and federal partners are intent on rooting out abuse and fraud wherever we find it in the Medicaid program. We thank Attorney General Tong and his staff, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and HHS investigators for their excellent work in partnership with our agency in this case,” said DSS Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby.
Robert Sorrentino is the former owner and operator of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Associates, PC, a dental practice in New Haven. He sold his practice and retired in November 2014. Sorrentino was enrolled with DSS as a Connecticut Medicaid provider.
The investigation found that during the calendar years 2010 and 2011 Sorrentino billed the Medicaid program for dental procedures and services that he did not perform or were included in other covered services, including additional periods of sedation, and removal of bone and tissue.
The settlement will reimburse both the federal and state shares of the Medicaid program, with the state receiving 60 percent of the settlement funds. Sorrentino has also agreed to a five-year suspension from providing services to the Connecticut Medical Assistance Programs, which includes the Medicaid program.
Attorney General Tong thanked the HHS Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations and the Office of the United States Attorney for their coordination in this case. Attorney General Tong also thanked the DSS Office of Quality Assurance for the considerable assistance they provided.
Anyone with knowledge of suspected fraud or abuse in the public healthcare system is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department at 860-808-5040 or by email at email@example.com; the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 860-258-5986 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Department of Social Services fraud reporting hotline at 1-800-842-2155, online at www.ct.gov/dss/reportingfraud, or by email to email@example.com.
Forensic Fraud Examiner Kevin Jeffko and Assistant Attorney General Michael E. Cole, Chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department assisted the Attorney General in this matter.