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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
Patients to Receive Refund of Administrative Fee

BALTIMORE, MD (May 19, 2008) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with Germantown Primary Care Associates, P.C., a medical practice located in Germantown. The Division alleged that Germantown Primary Care Associates’ solicitation, billing, and collection of a yearly administrative fee violated Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Debt Collection Act. State HMO laws and the terms of Germantown Primary Care Associates’ contracts with health insurers do not allow the collection of these types of fees.

While Germantown Primary Care Associates denied that it violated the law, it has agreed to refund all of the administrative fees received from patients who are members of an HMO or a health insurance plan. In addition, Germantown Primary Care 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. Germantown Primary Care Associates also agreed to refrain from collecting administrative fees from other patients unless it clearly and conspicuously discloses in writing to the patient the amount and purpose of the fee.

“Participating providers should only be collecting co-payments and deductibles from their HMO and health insurance plan patients,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I am pleased that consumers will receive refunds of the fees this practice collected.”

Consumers eligible to receive restitution under the Attorney General’s settlement with Germantown Primary Care Associates will be notified.

 

   

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