xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Laurel dental practice accused of overbilling patients reaches settlement with attorney general

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement Wednesday with a dental practice in Laurel that faced allegations of overbilling its patients and not providing accurate information about expected charges of services.

Batz-Weiner Lake Dental, at 8363 Cherry Lane, will waive all outstanding charges for provided services from Jan. 1, 2014, through March 3, 2016, under the settlement. Batz-Weiner will also notify patients who might have been overcharged that, if requested, they can review their accounts.

Advertisement

The dental practice will also pay $48,000 in penalties and investigative costs, according to the settlement.

Maryland’s Consumer Protection Division alleged Batz-Weiner engaged in several violations of the Consumer Protection Act. The division provides mediation services to consumers to help resolve complaints against health insurance carriers and businesses, according to its website.

The division alleged the dental practice failed to submit timely and accurate insurance claims; billed patients monetary amounts that should have been covered by insurance if the claims had been properly submitted; failed to account for received payments and instead resent bills; did not include all anticipated charges in pre-treatment estimates; and did not tell patients that services would be provided by practitioners who are out of network.

As part of the settlement, Batz-Weiner will modify its billing process to prevent future errors. Changes include: providing accurate pre-treatment estimates; employing a third-party biller or “ensuring that its staff is trained in billing and coding”; providing timely bills to patients; and alerting the patient if the practitioner they are going to see is out of network for the patient’s insurance plan.

“Today’s settlement will help prevent overbilling of patients and allow patients to make informed decisions about their own dental care and treatment,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement.

A representative for Batz-Weiner was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Anyone who believes they might have been overcharged by Batz-Weiner Lake Dental may contact the Consumer Protection Division, Health Education and Advocacy Unit, by phone, email or postal mail.

The division can be reached at 410-528-1840 or 1-877-261-8807, or by email at heau@oag.state.md.us. Letters can be mailed to the Office of the Attorney General, Health Education and Advocacy Unit, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement