BLOOMINGTON - Heartland Dental Care Inc. - with dental practices in 12 states, including four locations in Bloomington - has agreed to pay $3 million to the federal and state governments to settle allegations of improper billing and dentist registration.
Chad Thompson, vice president of administration for Effingham-based Heartland, said Monday that Heartland resolved the U.S. and Illinois investigation involving civil claims against the company, while denying any wrongdoing.
"We have not at any time made any admissions of any wrongdoing or improper business practices by Heartland nor did we do so in the settlement agreement or consent degree," Thompson said in a statement. But Heartland decided that settling the complaint was in the best interest of the company and its patients, he said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois, Heartland and its chief executive officer agreed to pay $1.65 million to resolve allegations of improper billing to Medicaid and $1.35 million to resolve allegations that newly hired dentists issued prescriptions prior to registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Thompson said that Heartland Dental has four locations in Bloomington -Dental Group of Bloomington, Hershey Plaza Dental Center, Affordable Dentistry Today and Redbird Dental Care - as well as Lincoln Dental Center in Lincoln.
None of the doctors currently practicing at those locations was part of the investigation, Thompson said.
Thompson said the government did not dispute the medical necessity of the dental work and no patients were harmed. "It (the dispute) had to do with how the work was coded."
No Heartland locations will close as a result of the settlement and locations that had accepted Medicaid patients will continue to do so, he said.