Customer credit company takes issue with work by second dentist

Customer credit company takes issue with work by second dentist

"I didn't refuse to work with him," Kathleen Evans says. Yet, the letter says, "I didn't cooperate with him, that I got another dentist." "I didn't refuse to work with him," Kathleen Evans says. Yet, the letter says, "I didn't cooperate with him, that I got another dentist."

Plus, another of Dr. Paul Muscari's patients got bad news about her bill. 

Kathleen Evans is one of many of Muscari's patients who paid for dental work through Care Credit.

Dr. Muscari's office recommended Care Credit, which put Kathleen's bill on hold a few months ago, they said.

But that status has now changed. Kathleen received a discouraging letter from Care Credit recently.

Dated April 2, the letter states, "Although we empathize with problems you encountered with services provided by Paul Muscari, we are unable to pursue service quality issues on your behalf since you indicated that another dentist provided you services."

Two months ago, Kathleen told 6 On Your Side a second dentist pulled mini implants that Dr. Muscari first inserted in February 2006. The implants were supposed to keep her lower dentures in place, but her mouth hurt.

"I had Dr. Boyd take them out because they were infected and I had an ulcer under my tongue," Kathleen says.

She's a widow on a fixed income who cares for her 92-year-old mother around the clock. Her Care Credit charges were over $7,000.

Kathleen says several times last year, she asked Dr. Muscari to help ease the pain. The new letter from Care Credit says she "gave up" too quickly. She reads, "Under federal regulations, refusal to work with the provider could void your dispute in rights."

"I didn't refuse to work with him," Kathleen says. Yet, the letter says, "I didn't cooperate with him, that I got another dentist."

Kathleen's new set of false teeth were charged to Care Credit a year ago. In February, she showed 6 On Your Side how loose her dentures are.

Now, she says Dr. Muscari is having a new set made. Impressions were taken more than a month ago.

But it's the letter from Care Credit that bothers her, saying she didn't work in good faith with her dentist.

"When did Care Credit call you?" 6 On Your Side asks. "They haven't," Kathleen says.

She's been interviewed by a state investigator from the dental board about problems with Paul Muscari. Amanda and Andy Jarvey of Morristown have also been interviewed. Kim Johnson has been interviewed, twice. Polly Booth has talked with investigators. And so has Norma Hill.

All these patients have either quality of care or quality of service issues.

In Nashville, Denise Moran heads the state office of investigations for the Department of Health. She couldn't answer any questions regarding Dr. Muscari.

But Moran did say, "The practitioner is interviewed in order to allow that practitioner to give his or her side of the story. We take the explanation of the practitioner into consideration, the patient's viewpoint, the clinical issues that are discovered through the documentation."

6 On Your Side called Dr. Muscari Wednesday and wrote a letter to him last week asking about Kathleen Evans' case. He has not responded to either request.

We don't know how long the state's dental board will look into allegations or what action might be taken.

However, Dr. Muscari is familiar with the process of the board. Three years ago, his license was suspended.

Currently, he's operating on a "probationary dental license," according to state records.

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