Kool Smiles to pay $23.9 million for allegedly performing unnecessary procedures on kids

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - A dental company with a location in Abilene has been agreed to pay a $23.9 million settlement for allegedly performing medically unnecessary services on children for financial gain. 

A press release from the United States Justice Department states Benevis LLC, the parent company of Kool Smiles dental clinics, is accused of knowingly submitting false claims to Medicaid programs for these unnecessary services. 

The unnecessary procedures include baby root canals, tooth extractions, and stainless steel crowns, according to the press release, which claims some of the root canals billed to Medicaid were never even performed. 

The press release also alleges, "Kool Smiles clinics routinely pressured and incentivized dentists to meet production goals through a system that disciplined 'unproductive' dentists and awarded 'productive' dentists with substantial cash bonuses based on the revenue generated by the procedures they performed."

The United States Government believes some dentists came forward with complaints of overutilization, but Kool Smiles ignored these allegations, according to the press release. 

Of the $23.9 million Kool Smiles has agreed to pay, the federal government will receive a total of $14,244,073.49, plus interest, and a total of $9,655,926.51, plus interest, will be returned to individual states

Three former employees will also receive payments totaling over $2.4 million for acting as whistleblowers in the case against Kool Smiles. 

Read more about the settlement on the Justice Department's website.

Kool Smiles has a location at 4754 S 14th Street in Abilene. 

Kool Smiles has released the following statement in regards to the settlement: 

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