Good news for patients of NJ dermatology practices that closed suddenly
🔴 South Jersey & North Dermatology Center suddenly closed in February
🔴 Patients have been trying for months to obtain their medical records
🔴 The owner will now provide records to patients who request them via email or mail
After months of no answers, patients of South Jersey Dermatology and North Jersey Dermatology finally have a way to get their medical records after their offices suddenly closed and were emptied without explanation.
South Jersey Dermatology patients found the door of the Toms River and Manahawkin offices locked tight and the furniture removed in February. North Jersey Dermatology offices in Clifton, Parsippany and Rockaway also ran into the same situation. Frustrated patients who could not get a hold of anyone at the offices or on the phone contacted New Jersey 101.5.
Getting patients their records
The Division of Consumer Affairs told New Jersey 101.5 that owner Jeffrey Masessa agreed to email patients with instructions for accessing their records via a secure portal. However, he failed to follow through.
Masessa has now agreed to make all patient files available upon request in either electronic or hardcopy form at no charge to patients in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Requests can be made via email or mail.
Requests can be made via email to: email@example.com or by mail to:
North Jersey Dermatology Center or South Jersey Dermatology
P.O. Box 7768
North Bergen, NJ 07047
NOTE: The above email address was missing a letter. It has been corrected.
Dozens of consumer complaints
The agency has received 53 consumer complaints and have been provided with the email addresses.
"We will continue working with Mr. Masessa to facilitate the release of medical records to patients who request them," a spokeswoman said.
A reason it took so long for the records to be made available can be traced back to the death of Dr. Joseph M. Masessa, the owner of the company, Adult and Pediatric Dermatology Group.
Masessa died in a plane crash at an airshow in Florida in 2019. Upon his death, the company transferred to his brother, Jeffrey Masessa, who is not a doctor. As a result, medical rules did not apply to him and he could not be held accountable with punishment such as the suspension of a medical license.
Jeffrey Masessa told New Jersey 101.5 in March that he had a signed asset purchase agreement to sell his company and offices in New Jersey as well as Florida and South Carolina to Schweiger Dermatology Group of New York. Control of the offices was turned over to Schweiger and employees had "welcome meetings" via Zoom, according to Masessa.
A spokeswoman for Schweiger said there were "discussions" about a sale but no agreement was ever signed and the companies do not have a relationship. Jeffrey Masessa has not returned messages from New Jersey 101.5 since seeking further explanation.