Tackle fraud on many fronts

Cork clinician explains his strategies for combating fraud in his new book

Irish dentistry is not immune to fraudsters, despite the fact that no dentist has ever been convicted for a professional fraud committed in Ireland, says Cork dentist Liam Lynch.

Liam, principal dentist at Cork Dental Care in Wellington Road, has recently published a book on dental fraud entitled Occupational Fraud in Publicly Funded Dentistry – The Elephant in the Room.

He said: “The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network estimate that up to five per cent of claims for payment in the EU are fraudulent. So there is no reason to believe that Ireland would be any different.”

However, despite this, Liam still believes that the vast majority of dentists in Ireland are “caring, ethical, and do not perpetrate any type of dental fraud, abuse, or scam”.

He continued: “The rare rotten apple in the dental community must not be allowed to taint the vast majority who are honourable dentists.”

If the profession is to tackle the problem effectively, Liam explained that an effective counter fraud strategy must be put in place and, crucially, be composed of multiple components. He argues that a counter fraud strategy built on one or two methods of detection such as peer review or a statistical method of practice analysis is not sufficient to contain the problem.

He said: “Fraudsters are early learners and quickly circumvent a counter-fraud strategy composed of merely a few familiar elements. I argue for the use of many components to prevent fraud and that is the basis of the book.”

Occupational Fraud in Publicly Funded Dentistry – The Elephant in the Room, by Dr Liam Lynch PhD, is available from LightFort Publishing, Cork. For more information, email
liam.lynch.cork@gmail.com