Dialysis Company DaVita Leads List of Companies Caught for Committing Fraud against U.S. Government

Friday, December 25, 2015
DaVita CEO Kent J. Thiry (AP photo)

Dialysis provider DaVita Healthcare Partners was forced to pay $800 million this year to settle fraud cases brought by the Justice Department.

 

Using the False Claims Act and other federal laws, the Justice Department in 2015 went after DaVita and other corporations accused of defrauding the government. The companies were forced to pay a combined $3.5 billion in settlements and judgements, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

 

DaVita, the leading provider of dialysis services in the United States, agreed to pay two of the largest settlements: $450 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly generated unnecessary waste in administering the drugs Zemplar and Venofer to dialysis patients and billed the government for costs that could have been avoided; and $350 million for paying kickbacks to physicians to induce patient referrals to its clinics. 

 

Another major settlement was reached with First Tennessee Bank N.A., which agreed to pay $212.5 million because its subsidiary, First Horizon Home Loans Corporation, originated and endorsed mortgages for federal insurance by the Federal Housing Administration that did not meet eligibility requirements.

 

Using the Stark Law, which prohibits certain financial relationships between hospitals and doctors that could improperly influence patient referrals, prosecutors went after several hospitals for filing false claims: Adventist Health System ($115 million); North Broward Hospital District ($69.5 million); and Georgia hospital system Columbus Regional Healthcare System and Dr. Andrew Pippas for $25 million plus contingent payments up to an additional $10 million.

 

The list also included pharmaceutical companies, such as Daiichi Sankyo Inc., which paid $39 million to resolve allegations of false claims against the U.S. and state Medicaid programs. Also, AstraZeneca LP and Cephalon Inc. paid $26.7 million and $4.3 million, respectively, in separate settlements for allegedly underpaying rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. The two drug makers agreed to pay an additional $23 million to state Medicaid programs for their losses. 

 

Defense contractors were also prosecuted. Dubai-based Supreme Group B.V. and several of its subsidiaries agreed to pay $146 million for alleged false claims to the Department of Defense for food, water, fuel, and transportation of cargo for American soldiers in Afghanistan. In addition, Swiss-based Supreme Group affiliates Supreme Foodservice GmbH, and Supreme Foodservice FZE, a privately-held UAE company, pleaded guilty to related criminal violations and paid more than $288 million in criminal fines.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Justice Department Recovers Over $3.5 Billion from False Claims Act Cases in Fiscal Year 2015 (U.S. Department of Justice)

Federal Fraud Recoveries Drop More than 38 Percent (by Neil Gordon, Project On Government Oversight)

Record False Claims Settlement in a Case not Supported by Justice Dept. (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Comments

Adam 10 months ago
The "What If Scenario" has been making crooked people more money than they should be making. It is our fault, as a people, for not regulating them and making sure prices are reasonable. Instead we, the people, let them regulate how much we will pay. They control the surplus, manufacturing and production. and we continue to buy into Insurances the big "WHAT IF" scenario. People wake up! we are meant to die. Stop trying to prevent it, and this problem goes away.
Tbone 10 months ago
The above comments are a bunch of bs been in dialysis for 17 years your husband was abusive towards staff the only reason to discharge a pt. After propably on going abusive of staff and has to be documented
Joy 10 months ago
Dialysis Advocates helped my husband as much as they could! He was blacklisted from dialysis and passed on 2/14/15. I am happy that Davita has at least been called out for govt fraud. Now is time for them to be called out for abuse of patients!
arlene mullin 10 months ago
One has to wonder why the devastating care of patients and worry it appears about profits has not been addressed only money. This money was and is intended for patient care and CMS has been aware of patient's rights being violated and terminated from life saving care. No protection for complaining for the patient, as they promise that a patient can complain free from retaliation, however, many patients have and are terminated from life saving care with full knowledge of medicare and this is a death sentence as patients are not given a clinic. A worker or clinic can deny life saving care and the industry oversight it appears has rubber stamped the terminations, and the patients have no rights to have the information that was used against them. It is one big circle of abuse and the government has not addressed it, with all the documentation that has been provided to them. Money is more important it appears than human life. The Justice Dept has been aware as well as Civil Rights. Patients terminated from care with no voice or face their accuser. It has been allowed. One would think that with the knowledge that the government has had, and documents, that human life matters and that these patients have no voice or choice to change clinics or Drs. www.dialysisadvocates.com

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