Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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October 2, 2012

Wayne County dentist charged with Medicaid Fraud

HARRISBURG - A Wayne County dentist was arrested today on charges that he fraudulently billed the Medical Assistance program for more than $75,000 worth of patient procedures that were allegedly not properly performed or not administered.

Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as James Fruehan, 52, 51 Marshwood Bend, Clarks Summit. Fruehan is a licensed dentist and owns and operates Fruehan Family Dentistry, 15 Fruehan Drive, State Route 590, Hamlin, Wayne County.10-2-12 Fruehan

According to the criminal complaint, Fruehan submitted claims to Medical Assistance for sealants and prophylaxes (teeth cleanings) that were not provided by Fruehan or licensed dental professionals.

The charges state that Fruehan allowed dental assistants, who did not have a a proper license, to perform teeth cleanings on patients. Fruehan allegedly billed Medical Assistance more than $31,000 for prophylaxes that were provided by the dental assistants. 

Kelly said that more than $35,000 worth of fraudulent claims were allegedly submitted for dental assistants writing "sealants" in the patients? charts, which indicates that they were not done by a dentist, dental hygienist, or expanded function dental assistant.

Agents estimate that Fruehan also allegedly submitted more than $8,000 worth of fraudulent claims for sealants that were not provided, but allegedly added into patient files so they would be billed. 

Fruehan is charged with one count of Medicaid Fraud and one count of theft by deception.
 
He was preliminarily arraigned before Hawley Magisterial District Judge Bonnie Carney and released on $20,000 unsecured bail. He waived his preliminary hearing.

The case will be prosecuted in Wayne County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Albright of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Section.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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