A dental practice group which operates throughout Noord and Zuid Holland has been fined €400,000 by the Dutch health authority NZA for fiddling with invoices.
The Tandzorg Groep, which runs several different practices throughout the two provinces, made some of its patients pay higher bills for crowns, bridges, false teeth and implants, the NZA said on Thursday.
The group benefited from discounts for the materials it used but did not pass the discounts on to customers. Dental practitioners are required by law to charge patients cost price for the actual bridges and implants.
‘We consider it extremely serious that patients have been treated this way, the NZA said in a statement. The fine is the highest ever levied in the Netherlands for fraud involving dental care.
The fraud dates back to 2014 and continued until mid 2016. The supplier, a lab which made implants and bridges, paid the ‘discount’ to the dental practice via a rental contract for a room which did not exist.
This allowed Tandzorg to keep the discount off the books and pocket the cash, the NZA said.
The NZA said it had come across other cases of fraud involving intermediaries which only exist on paper and fraudulent purchasing combines. ‘These constructions allow dentists to pocket discounts and bonuses or to increase the price well above the actual cost,’ the NZA said.