ROCKPORT, Maine — A Rockport dentist who the federal government claimed improperly billed MaineCare has paid $485,000 to settle a civil lawsuit.
The U.S. attorney’s office issued a news release Wednesday in which it announced the settlement with Daniel P. Schecter. The U.S. attorney’s office dismissed its lawsuit last week.
The settlement came after an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Maine attorney general’s office. Schecter cooperated during the investigation, the prosecutor’s office stated.
The lawsuit alleged that Schecter violated the federal False Claims Act from Jan. 1, 2009, through Nov. 19, 2012, by improperly billing MaineCare for services rendered without medical necessity and proper supporting documentation, for unsubstantiated tooth extractions and for narcotics prescribed without proper justification.
The settlement amount represents the amount of monies improperly billed by Schecter and held in suspension by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services as a result of the investigation.
No criminal charges have been filed.
The lawsuit claims that MaineCare conducted an audit of 50 cases handled by Schecter between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2011, and that none of the procedures performed were found to have a medical necessity.
The lawsuit states that Schecter submitted false records to get reimbursements he was not owed.
Schecter twice has been brought before the Maine Board of Dental Examiners. He entered into a consent agreement in 2009 concerning a patient of his who died four days after being treated in January 2007. The dentist agreed to additional education, including in pharmacology, treatment of medically compromised patients and documentation.
Schecter entered into a second consent agreement with the state board in October 2012 after he was found to have been prescribing excessive pain medications. The agreement prohibited him from further prescribing narcotics to treat the pain of patients.
The Board of Dental Examiners preliminarily rejected in June Schecter’s request to renew his dental license, board Executive Director Penny Vaillancourt said Wednesday. He has appealed that denial and a hearing will be scheduled for him to present his case, she said.
His license remains active, she said.
Schecter has not been enrolled in the MaineCare program as a provider since January 2014, according to David Sorensen, director of media relations and policy research for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.