HARRISBURG – The Attorney General’s Health Care Section announced that an agreement has been finalized to transfer the medical records for patients at the former Allcare Dental & Dentures in Erie, which was located at 7060 Peach Street.
Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan said the agreement provides that dental and laboratory records for patients who were treated at the Erie Allcare office will be transferred to Esser Family Dental, Inc., located at 5127 Zuck Road, Erie. The transfer of all records is expected to be completed by January 29, 2011.
“The Health Care Section continues working to assist Allcare patients across Pennsylvania and throughout the country who have filed hundreds of complaints since the dental chain suddenly closed its doors at the beginning of January,” Ryan said. “Our investigation into the sudden closure is ongoing, as are our efforts to gain access to consumers’ personal medical records.”
Ryan said all former Allcare patients from the Erie office will be notified when their records have been transferred and the agreement requires that the confidentiality of their records be maintained at all times. Once the transfer is complete, Erie patients will have access to their records through Esser Family Dental, but will also maintain the ability to re-transfer copies of their records to any other health care provider of their choice.
Additionally, the agreement allows Esser Family Dental to take custody of all dental work in progress and dental prostheses that are located at the Erie Allcare office, so those items can be provided to patients.
Ryan said efforts continue to distribute or transfer records at other Allcare facilities across the state. Additional information will be announced when those arrangements have been finalized.
Former Allcare patients are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Health Care Section if they paid for treatment or services that were not provided or continue to have difficulty accessing their records. Consumers can file complaints by calling the Attorney General’s Health Care Hotline at 1-877-888-4877 or by accessing an online health care complaint form.
In addition to filing complaints with the Health Care Section, consumers are also urged to take the following steps to document their dispute and limit financial losses:
- If you paid with a credit card, contact your credit card company to dispute the charges and have them removed from your bill (dispute information is listed on your monthly statements).
- If you paid by check, contact your bank to determine if payment can be stopped.
- If you arranged for long-term financing, contact the financing company and dispute any payment for items that have not been delivered.
- If you arranged for some form of automatic payment plan, contact your bank or credit union to immediately stop any future withdrawals from your account.
- Keep records of all transactions in order to assist investigators and to support any possible legal claims.
- Gather receipts, invoices, or bills that show what items were ordered, what you paid and when delivery was promised.
- Keep any phone records or any notes that indicate which company employees you spoke with and when those conversations occurred.
Allcare had business offices in Erie, Pennsylvania and New York state and operated dental practices in 13 states. Efforts are ongoing to coordinate with other state Attorneys General to address complaints from patients outside Pennsylvania.
Non-Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to contact their state Attorney General’s Office to file complaints or submit an online health care complaint.