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I-Team: Small Smiles
   posted 11:15 pm Mon November 05, 2007 -
ABC 7 News - I-Team: Small Smiles
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-WJLA SCRIPT-

ANCHOR:

NOW TO AN I-TEAM INVESTIGATION ON DENTAL CARE FOR THE REGION'S CHILDREN. A 5-MONTH INVESTIGATION BY THE A-B-C-7 I-TEAM REVEALS THAT CHILDREN ON MEDICAID WHO VISIT TWO WASHINGTON AREA CLINICS - ARE SUFFERING PAIN FOR PROFIT. ROBERTA BASKIN JOINS US NOW WITH DETAILS ON WHAT SHE FOUND. 

ROBERTA BASKIN:
WHAT WE SAW AND HEARD IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE. FRIGHTENED CHILDREN SEPARATED FROM THEIR PARENTS… CRYING FOR THEIR MOTHERS WHILE STRAPPED INTO RESTRAINING DEVICES. IT'S A MEDICAID ASSEMBLY LINE… AND THEY'RE DRILLING FOR YOUR TAX DOLLARS. 

STORY:
IS THIS HOW YOU'D WANT A DENTIST TO TREAT YOUR CHILD? STRAPPED TO A PAPOOSE BOARD SO HE CAN'T MOVE? WHAT ABOUT PINCHING HIS NOSE SHUT TO GET HIS MOUTH OPEN? SUPERVISING THE SMALL SMILES CLINICS IN LANGLEY PARK AND THE DISTRICT: DR. ALDRED WILLIAMS.

RB: Is that an acceptable treatment?
WMS BITE: I don't personally use it, but some people do. 

Dr. Kim: They can do this because their parents not present in this room." 

AT SMALL SMILES PARENTS AREN'T ALLOWED IN THE ROOM AND TOLD IT VIOLATES FEDERAL PRIVACY RULES. BUT NO SUCH RULES EXIST. 

Camps: "Obviously, that's unethical. I mean, by anybody's standards, it's just unethical. 

WE SHOWED DR. ROBERT CAMPS, A PEDIATRIC DENTIST AND NATIONAL CONSULTANT, THE VIDEO OF 4-YEAR-OLD MIGUEL'S TREATMENT AT SMALL SMILES. 

"It's traumatic for me to watch. I can only imagine how traumatic it is for Miguel.

THESE FORMER SMALL SMILES DENTAL ASSISTANTS ALL SAY IT'S TRAUMATIC WHEN SMALL CHILDREN UNDERGO MULTIPLE PROCEDURES. 

Trina: "Sweating, urinate, throw up, flip over."

SMALL SMILES MAKES ITS MONEY TREATING CHILDREN ON MEDICAID. AND THE MORE WORK IT DOES. THE MORE TAX DOLLARS IT GETS.

Trina: "Get them in that back operating room with as many baby root canals, as possible." 

AND THE STAFF GETS BONUSES BASED ON VOLUME. 

Former assistant: "It's like hush money."
Deborah: "The more crowns we put on, the bigger the bonus." 

Dr. Camps: "It does no good for anybody but the dentist, I guess, who's looking for a bonus."

MIGUEL'S MOTHER BROUGHT HER SON TO DR. CAMPS FOR FOLLOW UP CARE AND THERE FOR THE FIRST TIME, SHE GOT TO WITNESS HER SON'S TREATMENT AT SMALL SMILES. 

DR. CAMPS SAYS NO ONE DOUBTS THE NEED FOR CARE, BUT AT WHAT COST TO THESE VULNERABLE CHILDREN?

ROBERTA BASKIN IN STUDIO:

THE COMPANY THAT MANAGES SMALL SMILES SAYS ITS AUDITS SHOW ALL THE WORK PERFORMED IS NEEDED AND PARENTS CONSENT TO ALL THEIR PROCEDURES. WE HOPE YOU VISIT OUR WEBSITE: WWW.WJLA.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION AND SPECIAL LINKS TO OTHER RESOURCES. WE ALSO WANT YOU TO GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

 


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