Healthcare News & Insights

Can paper clips qualify as medical devices?

Clinicians have some room for creatively using approved medical tools to meet patients’ needs. But one dentist took that freedom too far.

Michael Clair, a former dentist in Fall River, Massachusetts, has been indicted on charges of assault and battery of patients, larceny, illegally prescribing drugs and submitting false Medicaid claims.

Among his alleged crimes: Clair, who now resides in Maryland, used paper clips as dental posts, then submitted bills to Medicaid for the surgical posts he should have used, the prosecutors say.

Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002. He then hired other dentists to work in his dental office and filed false claims on those clinicians’ behalf. Clair is also alleged to have written prescriptions for staffers who would return the medication to him.

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