Dr. Juan Villarreal helped fix it
By Bill Keltner
As originally published by Mega Doctor News in its newsprint edition May 2017
A supportive crowd of fellow dentists, patients and friends jammed the second-floor conference room of the Harlingen Family Dentistry offices of Dr. Juan D. Villarreal to hear his powerful expose of government corruption which had relentlessly targeted Texas dentists like himself.
The good doctor thanked his audience and signed countless copies of his book: TRUTH DECAY — How Government Corruption Caused a Political Scandal Victimizing Texas Dentists and How It Could Happen to You!
The courageous doctor wrote this powerful book to describe his struggle with the top bureaucrats of the Texas Health and Human Service Commission and its Office of Inspector General who had targeted him and his practice in 2011 with serious but false allegations of misconduct within the Medicaid program. The ensuring battle tested his belief in himself and pushed his practice to the brink of financial collapse with the state withholding over a million dollars in payments for services delivered to poor children in the Rio Grande Valley. How could he pay his staff?
He describes it as the confrontation had by little David of Bible times with Goliath, a fearsome giant of a man. His story is a first-hand tale of right and wrong. Like the shepherd boy, the doctor bravely took on an intimidating giant, and in both battles, the little guy won.
Doctor Villarreal won his case just like David — Now, he wants the world to know about it.
The meeting got under way when Doctor Villarreal was introduced by Public Relations Director Gail Thomasan, who told the audience that the doctor is my “boss and my friend.” Gail is a retired school teacher, who now works with the doctor. She continued: “I’ve worked for him for many years, and know him to be a man of principle, integrity and dedication,” she said. “That is why this book had to be written to right many wrongs and protect others from possible harm.”
Villarreal began on a personal note: “These are exciting times for me,” he said, adding, “I never thought that I would be a writer. In fact, he laughed, writing for me as a student was my worst subject. But, here we are. Let me begin by telling you who I am, the story of my experience with governmental corruption, and why I had to write this book.”
Doctor Villarreal has been a dentist for over thirty-three years with a prospering practice in Texas. His business has grown to be one of the largest single family dental facilities in the state and the country with 140 employees and twelve doctors of dentistry on the staff.
“We have provided Medicaid orthodontic dental care since 1984, at a time when few dentists in South Texas were willing to take on this rather unpopular work of providing orthodontic (teeth straightening) as well as general dental care for Medicaid dependent children.”
For his efforts, the state targeted him with false charges of “a credible allegation of fraud” based on their interpretation of Obamacare regulations “In 2011 the state went on a witch hunt,” the doctor said, adding, “and I received a letter from the Inspector General notifying me that they were placing a payment hold on all our Medicaid orthodontic work. They were obviously trying to ruin me and my dental practice, as this put an
extraordinary amount of financial burden on us.” Thus, began months and years of legal maneuvers, with officials in Austin and elsewhere, but ending in a victory for this humble little David, and a warranted exposure for the giant Goliath.”
To learn all the intricate details of this lop-sided struggle, and the final victory, you’ll need to read the doctor’s book exposing how rogue bureaucrats seeking their own glory and power can then use these self-written regulations to harm businesses, innocent citizens and taxpayers, and bringing financial ruin to others with little or no consequences for themselves.
The book is published by TEXAS DENTISTS FOR MEDICAID REFORM. It is now available on line at Amazon and elsewhere. Contact the publisher for further information at [email protected].
By Dr. Tom Orent
CEO Gems Publishing, USA, Inc.
This is the true story of the best and worst of human nature. It’s about the absolute misappropriation of power by a series of bureaucrats running powerful state agencies without concern for the truth nor the path of destruction left in the wake of their self-gratifying rampage.
If this were a novel, you’d likely be tempted to cast it aside as improbable, if not impossible. Unfortunately for the victims, the story you are about to read is true. There are two sets of victims. On the one hand, you have the dentists who
were maligned, and in some cases bankrupted, by the vengeful actions of the power-wielding “officials.”
The other set of victims, numbers over three million strong. Strong only in numbers. Weak in that they are just
children. Children born into poor families. Children whom we are bound to protect. Children whose best health interests
became an inconvenient cost to state officials whose twisted sense of mission led them far astray from their sworn oaths of duty.
Far from “protect and serve.” They sought to destroy the very providers of the care desperately needed by the children of the State of Texas.
How is it possible that nobody knew what was going on? Dentists must maintain their license to practice, in order, to make a living and support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, it’s easy for rogue government officials to make life hard for a dentist.
The threat of loss of license and practice due to conviction on fraud charges (regardless of whether, or not those charges have any basis in truth) weighs like a boulder on the chest and in the minds of the accused.
Furthermore, the cost of being accused, the freezing of money already earned but not yet dispersed, can be equally
if not more intimidating than the potential court cases and defense of their licenses and good names.
Dentists have been afraid or unable to fight back. Nobody was willing to challenge authority. Nobody was willing to stand up for the three million plus children and be their voice. Until now.
This is the story of David and Goliath. This is a tale of right and wrong. Dr. Juan D. Villarreal was willing to stand up and fight back at great risk and cost to himself. Juan chose to fight back for all of those who could or would not. Juan gave voice to the three million plus children.