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    ‘Unlawful Dental Acts’: Alaska Doc Charged in Hoverboard Tooth Extraction Case

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    An Alaskan dentist is in hot water after it was alleged he was providing unnecessary treatments to maximize his payments from Medicaid – and for performing a tooth extraction while standing on a hoverboard to show off to his friends.

    Seth Lookhart of Clear Creek Dental is accused of needlessly sedating patients and other “unlawful dental acts.” He has now facing 17 charges including fraud. His office manager, Shauna Cranford, is also facing 16 charges – 10 of which are felonies.

    The charges stem from an investigation into Lookhart by the state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Office of the Inspector General and agents from the FBI and DEA, ADN.com reported. It was prompted after a former employee informed the state that the office was performing unnecessary intravenous sedation on Medicaid patients to increase profits, while using local anesthesia on those with private insurance. 

    “Medicaid pays $170.76 for 15 minutes of IV sedation; by contrast, nitrous oxide gas costs a flat rate of $57,” ADN noted.

    The investigation found that the dentist had billed nearly $2 million in IV sedation without proper justification. Out of 57 dentists in the state, Lookhart made up nearly a third of the $1.8 million spent on IV sedation in Alaska in 2016.

    Perhaps more shockingly, however, investigators discovered that Lookhart had performed a tooth extraction on a sedated patient while standing on a hoverboard. He filmed the incident, and texted it to his friends after the fact. The patient told investigators that she was unaware that he was filming, or that he had been standing on a hoverboard.

    Lookhart also owns a dental clinic in Brazil, so during Wednesday’s bail hearing it was determined that he poses a flight risk. He was forced to forfeit his passport and his bail was set at $250,000 cash or corporate bond. His dental license remains active, though he has been suspended as a provider for those with Medicaid.

    If convicted, Lookhart may face restitution payments of up to $2 million, plus fines.

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    Tags:
    Fraud, Medicaid, Dentist, Hoverboard, Clear Creek Dental, Shauna Cranford, Seth Lookhart
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