DaVita faces another federal false claims investigation

DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc., the nation's largest kidney care provider, is facing yet another federal investigation after self-reporting potential billing irregularities with one of its pharmacy providers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

DaVita reached out to federal officials about the potential issue in September following an internal compliance review of DaVita Rx LLC. Interim Chief Financial Officer James K. Hilger disclosed the investigation in a conference call last week, indicating that on Feb. 5 the company handed over its findings, which date back to 2010, the same day investigators initiated a records request dating back to 2006. 

The company is setting aside $22.5 million to cover expected damages related to the false claims investigation, according to the Denver Post.

The national dialysis provider took a major hit last year, agreeing to pay $450 million to settle claims that it intentionally wasted large vials of medicine in an effort to boost Medicare reimbursement. Nearly two months later, DaVita was issued a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for documents pertaining to Medicare Advantage diagnosis coding and risk scores. In November, DaVita announced it was facing a civil investigation for claims submitted by two vascular access centers in Florida. In 2014, the company paid $389 million to settle claims it paid kickbacks to physicians in exchange for patient referrals.

To learn more:
- read the Wall Street Journal article
- here's the Denver Post article

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