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Charge: Paper clips used in root canals

FALL RIVER, Mass., March 16 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts grand jury has indicted a dentist for allegedly using bits of paper clip instead of stainless steel in root canals, the attorney general said.

Michael Clair, 51, formerly of Fall River, Mass., and now of Maryland, who had been excluded as a Medicaid provider, is accused of using other dentists' provider numbers to bill Medicaid for the cost of stainless steel posts in the procedures, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday in a news release.

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The grand jury also indicted Clair on charges of submitting additional false Medicaid claims using other dentists' provider numbers and of illegally prescribing prescription drugs (Hydrocodone, Combunox and Percocet).

The grand jury returned the indictments last week, charging Clair with 13 counts in all.

The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division had investigated the matter since 2005, acting on information received from MassHealth, the state healthcare coverage provider. Clair is alleged to have hired several dentists at his Fall River dental practice and filed claims with MassHealth using their provider numbers for dental services he performed.

He is accused of fraudulently billing about $130,000 to the Medicaid Program for those services between August 2003 and June 2005.

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