Florida Dentist Accused of Medicaid Fraud, Patient Abuse

A retired Florida practitioner faces up to 55 years in prison and nearly $1 million in fines if convicted of Medicaid fraud.

A retired Florida pediatric dentist pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he committed fraud by billing Medicaid for procedures he performed without parental consent.

Howard S. Schneider, DDS, was arrested in November and charged with 11 counts of Medicaid provider fraud and one charge of scheming to commit fraud. He faces up to 55 years in prison and more than $825,000 in fines and restitution, according to the Florida Attorney General’s office.

According to KJXT, Schneider is free on $110,000 bond. His attorney asked for all of the charges to be dismissed. A hearing on that question is scheduled for Tuesday.

In court documents, other dentists who were asked to review Schneider’s work found deficiencies in both his dental care and in the consent form Schneider used to gain parental permission for treatment. For one thing, the dentists noted, the permission form didn’t list the names of the procedures to be performed.

The fraud allegations are just the latest in a series of legal woes for Schneider. Last year, parents of some of Schneider’s patients accused the dentist of rough treatment, alleging he left some children bruised and scratched, according to the KJXT report. Parent depositions also claim their children felt severe pain during the procedures and, in at least one case, a child was allegedly strapped down during a procedure.

Schneider surrendered his license and closed his practice last May after the “abuse” allegations first surfaced. He now lives in Georgia, according to KJXT.

Meanwhile, Schneider’s former dental assistant, LaTosha Bevel-Hillsman, was also arrested in November on charges of fraud, child abuse, and practicing dentistry without a license. She faces up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines and restitution, according to the attorney general’s office.