It’s what many businesses strive for. To be able to have 350 locations across 22 states, would be a success story in most people’s perspective. That kind of growth, while it might be a dream come true, has to be regulated by the business itself. Recently Aspen Dental had 11 lawsuits filed against it in 11 different states. The claims against Aspen range from unlawful corporate practice of dentistry to unfair and deceptive trade practices.
Aspen Dental claims to provide access to high quality, affordable dental care for millions of patients across the United States. Aspen has 18 locations in Michigan, including Bay City, Flint, Holland, Jackson, Lansing, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw and three Grand Rapids-area offices. Patricia Huddleston, who received care from the Bay City location, is one of the plaintiffs that has brought claims against Aspen.
Huddleston, who was looking to utilize Aspen’s offer for a free exam and x-rays, claims she was persuaded to commit to an extensive treatment plan and because her insurance would not cover the entire $6,538 cost, Huddleston agreed to take out a health-care credit card through CareCredit who has been claimed offered kickbacks to providers to steer patients to use the cards.
Was Aspen just upselling its product or was it taking advantage of its customers? While we may never know the true answer to that question the point should stand that either way Aspen put itself in a bad situation. Businesses that grow and are successful still need to be weary potential issues. The problem is that as businesses grow the issues become bigger. Aspen could have easily had a policy in place where clients that were not covered for a treatment were offered a variety of options where they could weigh the pros and cons of each and then choose on their own. Now they are facing a potential class action lawsuit that could have a bigger impact on the business then if a few of the clients chose treatments that were not as profitable to Aspen. This is just another reason how an experienced West Michigan business attorney can save your business money.
Source: “Lawsuit: Aspen Dental, with 18 offices in Michigan, misleads patients with 'unfair and deceptive trade practices'” by Melissa Anders of MLive