BUFFALO, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - A New York-based dental chain has closed all 52 of its offices nationwide, citing financial problems.
According to the Buffalo News, Allcare Dental, which is based in the city, posted a letter to patients at www.allcareinfo.com saying it was having cash flow problems and would try to transfer medical records to other dentists.
The company's main website was offline Wednesday and could not be accessed.
Across the country, patients -- including those in Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- have reported going to the dental chain's offices for their appointments in recent days only to find the doors closed.
Attorneys general offices in some states are reportedly starting to collect information from Allcare customers to figure out how many residents are affected by the chain's closure.
In August, former New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo -- now the state's governor -- announced that Allcare was one of the health care providers being subpoenaed in a state investigation of predatory health care lending.
The investigation, prompted by more than 200 consumer complaints, involved health care credit cards -- a newer way of paying for services at providers such as dentists, chiropractors, infertility clinics, weight loss clinics and veterinarians.
The attorney general's office said the cards violated the state's consumer protection laws because they were offered with deceptive tactics.
"Consumers reported that health care providers promised that the credit card had 'no interest,' when it often carried retroactive interest of over 25 percent if not paid in full during a promotional period," Cuomo's office explained at the time.
"Consumers were also unknowingly charged up front for services they never received, and their attempts to obtain refunds were often thwarted or ignored."
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.