Attorney General Sam Olens Announces $8.8 Million Settlement with Family Dermatology, P.C.

May 13, 2016

Attorney General Sam Olens today announced that Family Dermatology, P.C. has entered into a settlement with the State of Georgia in response to allegations that it violated the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act by attempting to collect debts from consumers without sufficiently confirming that the debts were valid and/or that the billing statements were accurate.

Family Dermatology, P.C. is a medical practice headquartered in Lilburn, Georgia with multiple locations in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.  A number of consumers claimed they had been billed for services for which they had already paid, while others alleged that the company failed to timely submit claims to consumers’ insurance providers, resulting in the insurance providers denying the claims and consumers then being charged.  When consumers tried to contact Family Dermatology to question the bills, most claimed they were unable to get through to customer service.

Family Dermatology, P.C., while denying any wrongdoing, has entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance which requires it to pay restitution to consumers who, due to the company’s billing practices, paid alleged debts they did not owe. The company must also cease collecting on 42,301 customer accounts for services provided prior to April 1, 2013, totaling $8,892,215, and pay $5,000 in fees and penalties.  In addition, the company must cease from attempting to collect debts from consumers until it has implemented changes to its billing practices to ensure that consumers will not be billed for amounts they do not owe. Should the company fail to comply with the terms of the settlement, it will be assessed an additional $50,000 fee.

“Consumers should be able to trust that their medical providers will bill them fairly for services rendered,” says Attorney General Olens.  “If a company does not have adequate billing and customer service capabilities in place, it should not penalize consumers.”

Refunds for Consumers

Consumers who paid a debt they did not owe may be entitled to compensation under the settlement and should fill out a prescribed claim form and submit it to the Georgia Department of Law, along with supporting documentation.  Claim forms must be postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 8, 2016 in order to be considered for restitution.

Eligibility

Claims must be submitted by or on behalf of consumers who:

  1. Due to Family Dermatology, P.C.’s billing practices, paid alleged debts the consumers did not owe; and
  2. Have not received full refunds for the payments.

Consumers who have received a full refund for their payment and consumers who received an incorrect bill but did not pay the bill are not eligible for monies under this settlement.

Filing a Claim

Consumers can download a claim form here.

Completed claims should be faxed to the Georgia Department of Law-Consumer Protection Unit at 404-651-9018 or sent via mail or overnight delivery, or hand-delivered to:

Family Dermatology Restitution Program
Department of Law, Consumer Protection Unit
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Suite 356
Atlanta, GA  30334-9077

Claims must be postmarked or faxed no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on August 8, 2016.