Dentists charging PPE fees may violate law, Maryland attorney general warns

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has warned dentists that charging personal protective equipment fees may violate the Consumer Protection Act, according to ABC affiliate WMAR-TV.

Provider-carrier contracts, along with public and private insurance laws, usually bar participating providers from charging fees to insured consumers. Not informing patients about fees beforehand may also violate the Consumer Protection Act.

The PPE fee may be allowed when patients see an out-of-network provider or don't have insurance, said Kimberly Cammarata, assistant attorney general and director of the Health Education and Advocacy Unit. However, the American Dental Association says it's unethical to only charge uninsured patients or only seek reimbursement from insured patients.

Maryland's Health Education and Advocacy Unit has received 17 complaints about dental PPE fees ranging from $10 to $40.

The Maryland State Dental Association has advised dentists to contact their attorney and review contracts to make sure they are in compliance with the attorney general's advisory, according to a spokesperson.

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