Lowell orthodontist to pay $800,000, resign as MassHealth provider after allegations of overcharging

A Lowell orthodontist will pay $800,000 to settle allegations that he improperly billed the state’s Medicaid program, the attorney general’s office announced today.

John Burke has also agreed to resign as a MassHealth provider, Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement.

MassHealth referred his case to the attorney general’s office after reviewing his bills, Coakley said.

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“We allege this dentist engaged in a pattern of problematic billing to MassHealth for dentistry services that were contrary to regulations,” Coakley said.

Burke allegedly charged for more expensive types of X-rays when he had performed cheaper ones. In some cases, he did not do the X-rays at all but charged for them, a spokesman in the attorney general’s office said.

Burke was one of the highest-billing MassHealth orthodontists, said Coakley. He received almost $5.5 million from September 2006 to August 2011.

A message left at Burke’s office this afternoon wasn’t immediately returned.