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For Immediate Release
April 24, 2007

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Settles with Medical Group
Patients to Receive Refund of Surcharge

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with DiMarzio, Gordon, Jackson, Kinzer, Miller & Verkouw, P.A. d/b/a Greater Annapolis Medical Group, a professional medical association that operates a medical practice in Annapolis. The Division alleged that Greater Annapolis Medical Group’s solicitation, billing, and collection of a “voluntary $25.00 per patient yearly medical malpractice surcharge” violated Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Debt Collection Act. The federal Medicare law, state HMO laws and the terms of Greater Annapolis Medical Group’s contracts with health insurance providers do not allow the collection of these types of fees. Greater Annapolis Medical Group denied that it violated the law.

Pursuant to the settlement, Greater Annapolis Medical Group will pay restitution equal to all payments received from patients who are members of Medicare, HMO, or health insurance plans who paid a $25.00 medical malpractice surcharge payment to Greater Annapolis Medical Group that was not fully refunded, minus any refunds made by Greater Annapolis Medical Group. Greater Annapolis Medical Group has agreed to refrain from soliciting, billing, or collecting fees in connection with a covered service, other than authorized co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles, from HMO, Medicare, and Maryland Medical Assistance patients, or from patients covered by health insurance contracts that do not permit the soliciting, billing, or collection of such fees. Greater Annapolis Medical Group also agreed to refrain from collecting an office surcharge or administrative fee from other patients unless it clearly and conspicuously discloses in writing to the patient the amount and purpose of the surcharge or fee.

“Patients who are provided services by a participating provider that are covered by an HMO or insurance company should only be asked to pay their co-pay and deductible,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I am pleased that consumers will receive refunds of these surcharges.”

In making today’s announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Lauren Calia for her work on the case. Consumers eligible to receive restitution under the Attorney General’s settlement with Greater Annapolis Medical Group will be notified.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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