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Kentucky AG announces fraud settlement

Kentucky, four other states reach $22 million fraud settlement

FRANKFORT, KY – Attorney General Jack Conway announced this week that Kentucky joined with four other states and the federal government in reaching a $22 million settlement with DaVita Healthcare Partners (DaVita). The agreement settles allegations that DaVita, one of the leading providers of dialysis services in the United States, paid illegal kickbacks to induce the referral of patients to its dialysis clinics, thereby causing false claims to be submitted to the state’s Medicaid program.DaVita_Partners_Logo

DaVita is headquartered in Denver, Colo., and has dialysis clinics in 46 states and the District of Columbia. DaVita has agreed to pay $22,356,143.08 to resolve the allegations with respect to the Medicaid program.  Kentucky’s share of the settlement is $172,531.17.  In addition to Kentucky, the states involved in the settlement include California, Colorado, Florida, and Ohio.

“I am pleased that this settlement allows us to recover funds for our vital state Medicaid program,” Attorney General Conway said.  “My Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit works hard each day to hold accountable health care companies that participate in this type of deceptive behavior.”

The settlement is based on a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower under the federal False Claims Act and similar state statutes and involves 46 dialysis clinics that DaVita co-owned with physicians. A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with DaVita on behalf of the states.

Since Attorney General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or been awarded more than $280 million for the state and federal Medicaid program. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers. In 2013, General Conway’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit was named one of the most aggressive in the country by the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen.