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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - A Murfreesboro dentist was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for running a scheme to defraud Tennessee's healthcare benefit programs.

According to a news release, 51-year-old Richard N. Schott and his former practice administrator, Kendra Glenn, were charged in November 2018 with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. 

Schott pleaded guilty in November while Glenn is scheduled for trial in December. 

Schott owned and operated Dental Excellence, which had three locations in Murfreesboro and one in Lebanon. Between November 2013 and January 2018, Schott was behind submissions of false and fraudulent claims towards healthcare benefit programs, such as Delta Dental, Cigna, TennCare and DentaQuest. 

The false claims included:

  • Billing for dental work that had not been completed or performed at all
  • Delivering fake dates of service to appear to meet benefit programs' time frame and preauthorization requirements
  • Making claims to appear services had been performed by a benefits program credentialed dentist
  • Falsifying supporting documents and adding fake narratives to support the upcoding of claims

Schott also submitted false reports after being advised by insurance companies that audits discovered a pattern of false claims and that TBI was conducting a criminal investigation into the company's billing practices. 

Schott tried to cover up the fraud by advising employees not to question billing practices. He even disciplined and fired employees who questioned to legality of the practices.

Many patients were forced to wait a long time to have necessary dental work completed by other dentists. 

Schlott was ordered to pay $965,448 in restitution to TennCare for his wrongdoings. 

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A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send Ethan story ideas, food recommendations and sports debate topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @ethanWSMV!

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