The Department of Justice and DaVita entered a settlement in which DaVita will pay $350 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act. DaVita targeted “young and in debt” physicians with large numbers of patients with renal disease, then offered them an interest in a DaVita dialysis center or alternatively, for DaVita to obtain an interest in the physicians’ dialysis centers. The offers were not at fair market value as required by law. Additionally, DaVita entered into non-compete agreements prohibiting the physician from referring patients to other dialysis centers.
The lawsuit was filed was filed by a ex-DaVita employee, a senior financial analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department under the qui tam (whistleblower) provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to bring suit on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery.
The complete press release is here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/davita-pay-350-million-resolve-allegations-illegal-kickbacks.
Anti-kickback statute safe harbors available here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/42/1001.952.
Synopsis courtesy of Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD @MSingletonMDJD