Dialysis Companies Hit with Large Payment in U.S. Fraud Case

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In late spring, a federal judge in Tennessee awarded the United States government $82.6 million from three companies in a Medicare fraud case brought by whistleblowers.

The companies, Renal Care Group, Renal Care Group Supply Company, and Fresenius Medical Holdings, were found liable for recklessly disregarding federal law when they billed Medicare for home dialysis supplies and equipment.

As part of the decision, the government claimed that Renal Care set up a sham billing company directing buyers to certain Renal Care Group supplies and limited choice, according to Courthouse News Service.

The government also claimed that between 1999 and 2005, Renal Care Group submitted false claims for equipment provided to patients who were receiving dialysis in the home setting.

Fresenius completed its acquisition of Renal Care Group in 2006, which according to the company placed Fresenius in the number one slot as the top provider of dialysis services and products, where it remains.

Courthouse News Service reported that the award would be divided, with $38,873,592 of the total award going toward treble damages and $43,769,000 to civil penalties.

United States District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., wrote that the case covered the claims for payment of equipment for at least 3979 patients, many of whom have advanced or life-threatening renal disease.