Investigation continues into Sun Orthodontix


Oct. 1, 2012 at 5:01 a.m.
Updated Oct. 2, 2012 at 5:02 a.m.

The investigation continues into Sun Orthodontix, a dental office under the microscope for possible Medicaid abuse.

Representatives with the Texas Attorney General's office recently requested that Sun turn over various documents, said Tony Goodall, of Austin's Goodall & Davison P. C.

Goodall serves as general counsel for Sun Orthodontix.

The state, about 18 months ago, began pulling back its dental programs once reports showed payments for orthodontics care were higher than expected, Goodall previously told the Advocate.

Later, the state requested the 25 largest orthodontics providers - including Sun - to hand over various documents.

Sun was put on Medicaid payment hold the third week of February and requested an expedited hearing just days after the hold went into place.

"Now, seven and a half months later, we still haven't had a hearing and are still in the dark as to what is happening," Goodall said.

It's difficult to tell what exactly the most recent action means, he said.

The attorney general's request is much the same as the request made by the Office of Inspector General in February, he said.

Goodall said he was unsure why officials couldn't use those same documents Sun originally provided.

The Office of Inspector General can, at any point, turn investigations over to the attorney general, he said, noting it was unclear whether the office needed more hands to help, or so on.

Stephanie Goodman, communications director with the the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's office, in early September said the state's Office of Inspector General had begun a massive investigation into orthodontist offices that provided children's Medicaid services. She would not disclose whether Sun was part of that investigation.

On Friday, she said the office does not release information regarding open investigations and could offer no more information.

Sun offers six locations throughout Texas, including a Victoria office at 7002 N.E. Zac Lentz Parkway.

A representative with the Texas Attorney General's office deferred comment to the FBI. Attempts to contact representatives with the bureau by phone on Friday were unsuccessful.



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