Cloudland Dental agrees to fine to settle TennCare fraud claim

Chattanooga founder agrees to pay $1.5 million

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – A prominent dental company has agreed to pay a hefty fine over alleged TennCare violations.

The United States Attorney announced the agreement on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors say Cloudland Dental submitted false claims for dental services to the state insurance plan.

Founder Dr. Don Flanagan, D.D.S. and his companies agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve the case.

Basically, prosecutors say Dr. Flannagan claimed to have done procedures that were really done by uncredentialed dentists by TennCare.

Cloudland Business Manager, Franci Raines, also agreed to resolve similar claims against her.

Cloudland Dental operated clinics in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Crossville and Sweetwater.

The allegations run from January 2015 to February 2019.

The company’s website says Dr. Flanagan opens his first general practice in Hixson in 2001.  He fully retired in 2019.

“When healthcare providers agree to participate in federal healthcare programs such as TennCare, they must adhere to the requirements of the program just like everyone else.  The credentialing requirement for participating providers is not a mere formality; rather, it is an important requirement that is intended to ensure that services are rendered by qualified providers.  Today’s settlement should send a message to all providers who participate in government sponsored healthcare programs that they must follow the rules when they elect to participate in publicly funded programs,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III.

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