Hoverboard Dentist Update
February 3, 2020
Way back in October of 2017, I wrote a blogpost about an Anchorage dentist who was defrauding Medicaid by performing unnecessary services like tooth extractions on his passed out patients. He even videotaped himself working on patients while balanced on a hoverboard. (You can read my original post here: http://www.ponderasolutions.com/disturbing-reports-of-dentists-committing-medicaid-fraud/).
Now word comes that the dentist, Seth Lockhart, has finally been convicted of defrauding the Alaska Medicaid program. His 46 counts included felony medical assistance fraud and scheming to defraud, as well as misdemeanor counts of illegally practicing dentistry and reckless endangerment.
The details of the fraudulent practices are bad enough. But it’s more discouraging to read about the incentives that drove Lockhart to defraud the system and his attitude about it all. His compensation is the first thing I have a problem with: his job offer was for $240,000 or 30% of billings, whichever was higher. Hmmm… I wonder how that was going to work out. And his attitude about getting caught was my second big problem: he explained that “unless someone was standing right next to him at the time, no one would ever know”.
Fortunately, Lockhart was arrogant enough to send his friends videos of himself on the hoverboard while working on patients. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUpUuRXxZWU. He was also arrogant enough to bill an outrageous number of expensive, and rarely used, IV sedations, which naturally alerted investigators to his practices.
Unfortunately, he’s also right that only slightly-less arrogant, but equally unethical providers, do get away with this type of fraud every day.