ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska dentist charged in massive Medicaid fraud case was allegedly so fast and loose in his practice that he pulled a sedated patient’s tooth while riding a hoverboard.
Seth Lookhart is accused of routinely knocking out patients for no medical reason, but so he could bill Medicaid for the more expensive intravenous sedation procedures. In 2016, he allegedly billed the government nearly $2 million for the procedures without proper justification.
The probe into Lookhart’s shady billing practices revealed a number of improprieties, including a video which he sent around to colleagues, of him performing an extraction on an unconscious woman while riding a hoverboard.
In a message sent with the video, Lookhart allegedly joked that it represented a “new standard of care,” the Alaska Dispatch News reported.
The patient later told investigators that she was unaware of the shenanigans that went on while she was knocked out.
Lookhart’s alleged scam specifically targeted Medicaid patients for the more comprehensive sedation procedure, which private insurers usually will not cover.
Such sedation is allowed by Medicaid only in emergency situations or where a patient is “uncontrollable” — like those who have severe developmental disabilities or suffer from extreme anxiety at the dentist.
Prosecutors say Lookhart billed $1.8 million for IV sedation in 2016, which made up nearly a third of all such billings out of 57 authorized dentists in the entire state of Alaska for the year.