An Indianapolis dentist is facing preliminary felony charges after a Marion County prosecutor said the doctor falsely billed the State of Indiana's Medicaid program for dental treatments she did not perform.
Bernice Avant, who, according to her website, has practiced dentistry
for 30 years, was charged with one count of Medicaid fraud and four
counts of theft, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced today.
to court documents, from 2012 to 2013, Avant allegedly falsified
Medicaid forms and submitted them to the Indiana Medicaid Program. In
total, Avant received $261,909.52 in payments for procedures that,
investigators believe, were never performed, or completed.
fraud preys not only upon state resources, but also on the trust of
patients," Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a statement. "It is important
that individuals ask for and review receipts for medical services and
equipment that they receive to ensure that fraudulent claims or event
errors are not occurring."
Investigators interviewed a dozen
patients who said that procedures like X-rays and teeth extractions were
never performed on them by Avant, yet the procedures were reflected on
Medicaid billing forms as having been completed.