Gansler settles with medical group

John O'Brien Apr. 25, 2007, 2:00pm


ANNAPOLIS, Md. - For allegedly collecting a medical malpractice surcharge, a Maryland medical group will pay restitution to those charged under a settlement reached with Attorney General Doug Gansler.

DiMarzio, Gordon, Jackson, Kinzer, Miller and Verkouw, P.A., doing business as Greater Annapolis Medical Group, denied violating any law, though Gansler saw it differently.

"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," Gansler said. "I am pleased that consumers will receive refunds of these charges."

Gansler said the group solicited, billed and collected a "voluntary $25 per patient yearly medical malpractice surcharge" that violated the state's Consumer Protection and Consumer Debt Collection acts. Also, federal Medicare law, state HMO laws and the terms of Greater Annapolis' own contracts with health insurance providers do not allow for the collection of the fee.

The company also agreed to stop collecting the fee from future patients unless it clearly discloses in writing to the patient the amount and purpose of the fee.

Greater Annapolis implemented the fee in 2005, when the medical malpractice reform was a hot issue in the General Assembly.

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