A dentist will pay $55,000 to settle claims he defrauded the state’s Medicaid program, Attorney General George Jepsen announced Monday.
Dr. Thomas DeRienzo, a licensed practicing dentist in Southington, will pay the money to settle civil healthcare fraud allegations that he submitted fake claims for Medicaid payments.
Jepsen alleged that DeRienzo carried out a “long-term scheme” in
which he submitted claims to the state Department of Social Services,
which administers Connecticut’s Medicaid program, for dental services he
did not provide to patients enrolled in the Connecticut Medical
Assistance Program. CMAP, run by DSS, includes family, children’s and
low-income Husky programs.
Jepsen accused DeRienzo of submitting claims to DSS for resin-based composite fillings that he never gave to CMAP patients.
In addition to agreeing to pay $55,000 to resolve those
allegations, DeRienzo has entered a separate agreement with DSS in which
he is permanently barred from participating as a dentist in the CMAP,
according to Jepsen.
Reached at his practice Monday, DeRienzo denied any wrongdoing.
“I’m not guilty. I did nothing purposefully wrong,” he said.
“These children were well taken care of in my office. The settlement was
made on my attorney’s advice.”
This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org).