The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection has provided notice to the Attorney General of an abnormal market disruption regarding the wholesale price of motor gasoline or gasohol. Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-234, no seller of motor gasoline or gasohol shall sell, or offer to sell, an energy resource at an unconscionably excessive price between July 12, 2022 and August 11, 2022.

Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong

10/01/2020

Attorney General Tong Announces $300,000 False Claims Settlement with Columbia Dental

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Department of Social Services Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford today announced a $300,000 joint state/federal False Claims Act settlement with Columbia Dental, P.C., Columbia Oral Maxillofacial Imaging, L.L.C., and Abbas Mohammadi, D.D.S. (collectively, “Columbia Dental”), regarding overbilling for dental services and the use of uncertified dental assistants.

Columbia Dental, P.C. and Columbia Oral Maxillofacial Imaging, L.L.C. are owned by Abbas Mohammadi, D.D.S.

Following a qui tam complaint filed in federal court that alleged violations of both the Federal False Claims Act and the Connecticut False Claims Act, the Office of the Attorney General conducted a joint investigation with the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations and the Office of the United States Attorney. The investigation developed substantial evidence that Columbia Dental repeatedly overcharged the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP), which includes the Medicaid program, for dental fillings that were either never performed or were medically unnecessary.

The investigation also uncovered substantial evidence of dental x-rays being taken by dental assistants who were not certified by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Connecticut law requires DANB certification of dental assistants before they are allowed to take dental x-rays. The certification demonstrates that the dental assistant successfully completed a course of instruction on the protocols and operating procedures that must be followed to ensure the safe administration of x-rays. From January 1, 2014 through November 30, 2015, Columbia Dental routinely caused claims for payment to be submitted to the CMAP for x-rays taken by dental assistants who had not obtained DANB certification.

“Columbia Dental repeatedly charged the state Medicaid program for work that was never performed. Medicaid providers have an affirmative obligation to ensure that services they bill for were actually performed. Columbia Dental also routinely submitted claims for reimbursement for x-rays taken by dental assistants without DANB certification. The statutory requirement that dental assistants be DANB certified before taking x-rays is meant to ensure x-rays are done safely, which protects both the patient and the dental assistant. Medicaid providers have a legal responsibility to ensure that they are in compliance with all material laws and regulations when they submit claims for services to the Medicaid program. The Office of the Attorney General takes seriously our obligation to safeguard our public healthcare programs, and we will take strong action against any provider who abuses the public trust,” said Attorney General Tong.

“The disturbing facts of this False Claims Act settlement case underscore the need for all Medicaid-enrolled providers to scrupulously fulfill their therapeutic and legal responsibilities to patients and the taxpaying public. I join Attorney General Tong in commending his staff, state and federal anti-fraud investigators, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their outstanding work in this matter,” said Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford of the Department of Social Services (DSS), administering agency for Medicaid.

Attorney General Tong thanked the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations, the Office of the United States Attorney, and the DSS Office of Quality Assurance for their coordination in this case.

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 ag.fraud@ct.gov; the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 860-258-5986 or by email at conndcj@ct.gov; 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 providerfraud.dss@ct.gov.

Assistant Attorney General Joshua L. Jackson, Forensic Fraud Examiner Kevin Jeffko, and Michael E. Cole, Chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department, assisted the Attorney General with this matter.
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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton
elizabeth.benton@ct.gov

Consumer Inquiries:

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attorney.general@ct.gov