After his Wading River office was abruptly closed by parent company Ageless 360 on New Year’s Day, longtime local doctor Robert Bernard says he’s hoping to open another practice soon.
Dr. Bernard said Thursday he is looking to open a practice within the next two weeks in the Wading River area of his old office on Route 25A.
“Hopefully the office will be in the same area,” he said. “We are looking to get our phone number reinstated as soon as possible.
“I’m sure this has been very frustrating for patients.”
While it remains unclear whether Dr. Bernard will take legal action against parent company Ageless 360, court records show it wouldn’t be the first time the company was sued.
Ageless 360 purchased Dr. Bernard’s practice about a year ago, and allowed Dr. Bernard to stay on as an employee.
Then, around the turn of the year, Ageless 360 informed him the office was being closed and his employment was being terminated along with all office staff, said Bill McDonald of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick in Ronkonkoma, an attorney for Dr. Bernard.
Ageless 360, owned by Roxanne Carforna, decided to close the practice after encountering several “business related issues” over the past year, said Ageless 360’s attorney Caroline Wallitt, of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C. in Garden City.
“Dr. Bernard was impeding the operation of the practice,” she said. “It became obvious that he did not want to work with anyone overseeing him, or even working along side of him.”
Ms. Wallitt said much of the concern was Dr. Bernard’s unwillingness to share patient’s medical records with Dr. Carforna.
Mr. McDonald said Thursday Ageless 360 has all the patients’ medical records.
“Ageless 360 shut the office down and they are in possession of all the paper copies of files maintained at that office,” he said. “I can’t speak to what they are telling patients right now, but it is causing me concern.”
He added that since Ageless 360 terminated Dr. Bernard’s employment, he is free to open another practice without legal restrictions.
There are currently three separate suits filed in state Supreme Court against Ageless 360, records show. In July, Source Ventures LLC, a company hired in 2012 to perform administrative services and marketing for Ageless 360, sued Dr. Carforna along with her husband, Frank Carforna, for breach of contact.
The suit claims the Carfornas had mishandled finances generated by the practice. It claims the Carfornas undermined the structure of their contract when they allegedly began fraudulently diverting revenues by siphoning funds to family members, among other claims.
The Carfornas responded with a countersuit in August. The counter suit accused Venture Source of entering into a secret agreement with a physician that sold their practices to Ageless 360. The suit claims that the doctor, David Heckler of Coram, agreed to process walk-in patients separately from patients with appointments in order to siphon off the walk-in receivables from the medical practice and split the revenue with Venture Source, court documents state.
In October, another doctor that sold his practice to Ageless 360’s, KBD Medical Management sued for breach of contract, according court documents. That suit claims Dr. Carforna failed to pay KBD for its services.
Ms. Wallitt declined to comment on the pending litigation. Nor would she disclose if her client would take legal action against Dr. Bernard’s practice.
Ageless 360’s Mount Sinai office is now treating Dr. Bernard’s former patients.
Patients looking to receive their medical records may do so by filing a written request to Ageless 360.