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For Immediate Release

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

Attorney General Settles with Medical Group Over Surcharge;
Patients to Receive Refunds

BALTIMORE, MD (August 22, 2007) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates, P.A., a professional medical association that operates a medical practice in Olney. The Division alleged that Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates’ solicitation, billing, and collection of a per patient annual office surcharge violated Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Debt Collection Act. The Division also alleged that the federal Medicare law, state HMO laws and the terms of Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates’ contracts with health insurance providers prohibited these fees. Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates denied that it violated the law.

As a result of the settlement, Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates will pay restitution to patients who paid the office surcharge payment and are members of Medicare, an HMO, or health insurance plans. Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates 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. Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates also agreed not to misrepresent the purpose of any fee that patients are charged.

“Patients should not be asked by a participating provider to pay more than their co-pays and deductibles when they are receiving medical services that are covered by an HMO or insurance company,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I am pleased that as a result of this settlement, consumers who were charged surcharges will now receive refunds.”

Consumers eligible to receive restitution under the Attorney General’s settlement with Montgomery Internal Medicine Associates will be notified.

   

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