Woman gets $3,000 bill after teeth cleaning

Woman gets $3,000 bill after teeth cleaning

"Later, I get a bill, next month, for $3,000. I panicked and I go back to that office with the bill," Norma Hill said. "Later, I get a bill, next month, for $3,000. I panicked and I go back to that office with the bill," Norma Hill said.

Another patient under Dr. Paul Muscari's care went to have her teeth cleaned 13 months ago. But the bill was bungled and is still not resolved.

In January 2006, Norma Hill visited Dr. Muscari's office in Morristown to have her teeth cleaned. She talked about the possibility of luminaries to brighten her teeth but changed her mind.

While at the office, an employee suggested Norma join Care Credit. She did and Muscari's office was paid quickly.

However, "Later, I get a bill, next month, for $3,000. I panicked and I go back to that office with the bill," Norma said. 

Norma said on one trip to the office, she ran into Muscari. "And I'm telling Paul what's happening. And he said, 'Oh Norma. I'm so sorry. Nancy done that. It's all our mistake. We're going to take care of this.' I said, Paul, I need it taken care of now."

Norma sent several certified letters to Muscari and the dispute company. "The first one I sent to Paul, which has never been opened, was sent back to me from Paul's office."

Norma can't figure out why Muscari's office didn't settle the dispute. Meantime, she makes monthly payments to the credit company.

The $3,000 mistake for the cleaning remained on her bill for 10 months until November, when Muscari's office forwarded part of the money to Care Credit.

"He paid almost $2,300," 6 On Your Side said. "Yes," Norma said. "You still have a balance of how much?" 6 On Your Side asked. "$713.29," Norma said.

To keep her credit clean, Norma says she's paid about $400 out of her own pocket to Care Credit.

Three weeks ago, 6 On Your Side followed Norma with a surveillance camera as she talked to Dr. Muscari's office manager and wife, Nancy Muscari. Norma says for months, she's been dealing with Mrs. Muscari.

"Could I make a copy of this, then call and get the figures and call you later today or tomorrow?" Nancy said. 

"Now this has been told to me all year long that it hasn't been credited," Norma told her.

"Well I thought I credited what I thought. I mean, I know I credited some," Nancy said. "I may have punched in the wrong numbers or whatever. But let me call them and look at your ledger and I will credit it."

6 On Your Side contacted Muscari's office about the issue. In January, Mrs. Muscari said on the phone that she's in the process of correcting the mistake to Norma's bill. But as of early Monday, Norma's account has not been fully credited.

"I want my bill resolved, my credit cleared up and never to walk back into that office again," Norma said.

6 On Your Side asked Muscari and his wife if we could sit down and talk on camera about Norma Hill. They wouldn't do it.

Late Monday afternoon, Dr. Muscari talked briefly with us on the phone about Norma's case. "As far as Norma Hill is concerned, she's had over $2,300 returned to her. And the outstanding balance that she's got over the difference in the money was to cover an outstanding balance that she's had over two years."

Norma Hill responded, saying she presently has no outstanding balance and hasn't owned Muscari money in over two years.

Nancy Muscari said Monday she's tried but failed to reach Norma on the phone as she promised.

Meanwhile, Norma's bill from Care Credit continues to mount. She says $800 plus is the present balance.

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