Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah Wins First Step in Battle against Attorney General Maura Healey

By William Tauro

On February 23, 2022, Judge Peter Krupp allowed a defamation claim against Attorney General Maura Healey to move forward.

Judge Krupp stated “…..the AG knew or should have known that her statements were inaccurate.”

Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah, the President of the Medicaid Orthodontists of Massachusetts, filed this defamation claim against Healey in July of 2021, after she made public comments against him that reached widespread media outlets in March 2021.

Healey opposed the defamation lawsuit, arguing that Rizkallah’s lawsuit was “futile,” because she and the Commonwealth have “immunity.”

However, “qualified immunity” only protects state officials that “unintentionally” make a mistake.

Judge Krupp referenced Healey’s statements that Rizkallah “used patients as pawns,” “harmed families from low-income communities and communities of color,” “utilized exploitative practices,” “victimized vulnerable residents,” and “kept children in braces for five or six years when the average is two or three years.”

Maura Healey must now defend herself, and has two attorneys representing her, and as the judge pointed out, the facts do not support Healey.

The Somerville News Weekly obtained public records requests from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The state provided patient “treatment duration” data for 57,277 MassHealth orthodontic patients.

The data shows that Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah does not take longer than other doctors. Rizkallah’s treatment time is average compared to all 191 orthodontic Medicaid providers across the state.

This data does not support Attorney General Healey’s statements, and now she will have to explain why she made those statements.

When asked about his feelings on this government data, Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah stated: “I feel awful that my family and staff were put through this inhumane ordeal. I am so relieved that the state’s own facts show Maura Healey was wrong. No human should ever have to endure this.”

Rizkallah added “I am not mad at Maura Healey. She is a smart, respected person that may have been misled by the same malicious state officers that I have been battling for a decade. If that is true, I could forgive her, and join with her to root out these bad actors if she becomes governor.”

When asked to comment on those malicious state officers, Rizkallah said “Where do I begin. How about when these bad state workers tried to force all orthodontists in the state to intentionally misdiagnose poor kids so that the kids couldn’t get needed treatment? That is medical discrimination, and I stopped it with a historic court injunction, because the judge also felt I was right. Then Maura Healey attacked me two months later with her false statements. My theory is that those bad actors tricked Healey into believing what she said to the media, but she still should have checked the state’s own data before saying it.”

When asked if he will continue to advocate for kids, given the harm he has experienced, Rizkallah said: “I don’t know how to stop. I either need to lay in the political mud so that kids can walk across me safely, or they will be in the mud. The latter is not an option, but it is emotionally devastating to me.”

The Somerville News Weekly will be continuing to monitor these legal battles, and will be attending and reporting on the April 14, 2022 “Contempt of Court” hearing against DentaQuest (sister company of Delta Dental of Massachusetts), and other accused individual state officers. They are accused of violating the court injunction that Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah won to protect thousands of kids two months prior to him being attacked by Attorney General Maura Healey.

Public Records Request Attached. Click on link below to read:
Comprehensive Orthodontics Table (Redacted) (3)

27 thoughts on “Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah Wins First Step in Battle against Attorney General Maura Healey”

  1. I’ve known Dr. Rizkallah for years, and I know how passionate he is about helping children. It really is what drives him.

  2. I have Known Dr Rizkallah for over 2 decades now. He is a leader in our field, and a great orthodontist. He has been the voice of orthodontists fighting for “what is best for patients.” Dr Riz deserves a public apology and should be recognized and awarded for standing up for all patients, regardless of social class. Anyone who fights discrimination should support Dr. Rizkallah and admire him – like his colleagues do.

  3. I’ve known Dr.Rizkallah for over 10 years, nobody puts up a fight like he does! I’m glad to see that Maura will face the consequences for lying and deceiving the public.
    Thank you to this judge for allowing justice to be served!

    Dr. Rizkallah, thank you for fighting for what is right and being the voice to so many who cant be heard!
    I stand with you!

  4. In this day and age when information is erratically tossed around without proper consideration of real facts, assuring reliability and trust should be the priority of the ones with the power and privilege to carry on such task. It’s sad to witness the people need to yet again fight for their own rights against the ones who were elected to represent them. Dr Rizkallah once again shows tremendous resilience and compassion by standing his ground and defending the children of the Commonwealth. It is rewarding to see that the fight for truth and justice is worth its pains.

  5. It’s about time that Dr. Rizkallah is able to defend himself publicly on this matter.

    This is a huge win for him in his efforts to advocate for kids getting the dental treatments they deserve.

    The AG went public wrongly against him and he deserves his day in court to defend himself to clear his name from the defamation she has wrongly caused.

    I wish him well with this recently ruling. Will watch for more updates on this matter.

  6. I have known Dr. Rizkallah for many years and I too have been involved with battling Mass Health for nearly 40 years. It is indeed shocking to hear of such vicious, false attacks against a truly respected, dedicated trustworthy individual, who has dedicated his career as an orthodontist to keep the Mass Health program intact for the benefit of patients who otherwise would not receive such vital dental care . I give my full support to Dr Riz. as we continue to fight for our patients’ sake

  7. Being an orthodontist for over 28 years, and working in the orthodontic field for over 40 years, I have never seen or met anyone who advocates for those in need as Dr. Rizkallah has done and is doing. He is highly professional and one of the most caring and compassionate doctors I ever met, and is so well respected in the orthodontic community and especially to Mass. health providers. I can’t thank him enough for his fight and stamina to keep going despite the wrong doing, the negativity and slander he has endured. He is on a mission to help those desperately in need of this service. I am proud to support him with his endeavors and THANK YOU SO MUCH Dr. Rizkallah.

    Dr. Rizkallah gets a judge to create an injunction order to stop forced misdiagnosis of poor kids (mostly minorities).

    They blow Dr. Rizkallah up two months later. But he keeps going.

    Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah deserves a Civil Rights award.

  9. Doctor Rizkallah, Please continue to fight for the children of Massachusetts, who have coverage through the MassHealth program. I sincerely appreciate that you continue to fight for this these children. They have done their best to assassinate your character. But every orthodontist in the state of Massachusetts knows of this assassination attempt and now most of them are wondering when will their turn be. I have given to the state of Massachusetts for more than 40 years of service in this program and it just seems like it gets worse every year.

    I have a degree in public health. Thus I had wished to be able to give my services to the community. Instead MassHealth wanted me to be a gate closer and a screen OUT mechanism for them. WE STAND FIRMLY WITH YOU!!

  10. We need to rally support for Dr. Rizhallah. Attorney General Healey owes him a sincere apology. He went to battle for us because he truly believes in battling for what is right.

  11. I have been known Dr. Rizkallah for more than ten years. He is known to me and my colleagues as a decent doctor who keeps his patients’ wellness and interest in his heart. I am shocked to learn that someone could attack him in such malicious and carelessly way.

    Dr. Rizkallah Is not fighting for himself only, he is fighting the whole corrupt system that has been trying beyond its means to deny lots of Massachusetts residents, especially children, their much needed and deserved dental or orthodontic treatment. In this sense, Dr. Rizkallah Is fight for our patients on behalf of us. Thank you, Dr. Rizkallah, for your courage, your dedication and your caring for the patients! We are all supporting you!

  12. We should all be thanking Dr Mouhab Rizkallah for all the fight he puts up to help others. His commitment advocating for these kids despite all that has been said wrongly about him just says a lot about who he is as a person. Someone who wants to help and will fight for what is right. I believe in him and so should everyone when they see the actual truth. I’m glad Maura Healy will not be given immunity, what was done to Dr Rizkallah was an absurd mistake that could have cost dental care for many kids that really need.

    Thank you Dr Rizkallah for not giving up!

  13. A principled guy from Somerville is standing. His purpose: to have the laws of our Commonwealth applied without prejudice, regardless of class, race or socioeconomic class. THIS STORY MUST BE WIDELY TOLD.
    The lobbiests for companies are capable of polluting the highest law enforcement officials to their interests. Dr Rizkallah has stood; been castigated publicly for calling out the dental insurance program administrators for their malfeasance, greed, ineptitude, and harm to our most vulnerable citizens.
    This is an initial step from which all should take notice ,create direction for cure, and insurance for competent governance. It will start here and continue to the November ballot where the informed citizenry can finally hear:

  14. Dr. Rizkallah have provided an opportunity for those that really need quality care for decades.
    The claims made against him is so baseless, it must to have been made by someone who don’t understand nor have the will to understand his work for the communities that wouldn’t have a option for healthcare if he was not there.
    Justice was served.
    Dr Rizkallah, keep it up.

  15. I’m sorry this has been going on for a while. Have known Dr Riskallah for over 14 years, I know this is just one of the many battles he has faced, and it’s unfair that someone who always looks out for the best in people, helps the community and also treats everyone fairly, has so many people trying to bring him down. But I’m glad he doesn’t give up, and keeps his ethic intact, no matter how many people try to bring him down, it doesn’t affect how he treats anyone. I’m glad to know him for who he truly is, and maybe people should try to see him for who he really is

  16. I’m glad to see that immunity will not protect someone when they are wrong. Thank you to this judge for not allowing Maura Healy to hide behind it!

    Dr. Rizkallah, thank you for fighting for the underprivileged, the underserved and the millions in this voiceless community. We stand with you!

  17. What a David vs Goliath story. Dr. Rizkallah is fighting and defending patients across a wide socio-economic, racial, and ethnic background. It is so disappointing that a state official can make such baseless and hurtful claims. I am glad that Judge Krupp saw through the lies and took a stand for justice. Keep up the good fight Dr. Rizkallah. Families in State of Massachusetts need you now more than ever!

  18. “First step” in a battle that has gone on for far too long. The fact that year after year, providers are beat down and taken advantage of, for just trying to care for those most in need is absolutely twisted. For the organization who is accountable for their members’ care, they should be ashamed of how they continue to limit treatment and seemingly work against providers. From the start they should have been directed to “right the broken system” by correcting their gate keeping processes rather than limiting care in illicit and unethical ways. Congrats to Dr. Rizkallah for standing up to the bullies year after year after year….and winning! The member population should be grateful for his undying efforts to ensure their care remains appropriately covered by the program in which they participate. And ALL providers should also be grateful, as the changes he has been able to implement over the years resonate beyond the borders of state supported care.

  19. Hmm. What comes before those three little dots in the judge’s opinion. Is it possibly “Rizkallah ALLEGES that…” Methinks this is a hit job.

  20. Any one who knows Dr. Rizkallah understands he has a heart of service especially for children. If Maura Healey desires to be Governor she may want spend some time with Dr. Rizkallah to learn from him as opposed to tearing him down. When elected officials are targeting private citizens who are serving the community we have reached a new ethical low. I know I will remember this when it is time to vote.

  21. Fair is fair. I’m glad immunity was not given to Healey in this case. There needs to be justice regardless of your political ties….glad to see how the justice system may not be broken after all.
    Wishing Dr Rizkallah all the best.

  22. Tens of thousands of poor kids are depending on Dr. Rizkallah’s advocacy. I can’t believe he still fights for them after what he has been through. He is so resilient.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.