Following $450M settlement, DaVita faces another fraud investigation

After shelling out more than $800 million over the past 13 months to settle False Claims Act and kickback violations, DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. is facing more federal scrutiny. 

This time the investigation focuses on potentially unnecessary procedures provided by a subsidiary of DaVita, RMS Lifeline Inc., which operates under the name Lifeline Vascular Access, according to a company filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. DaVita indicated that it received a civil investigative demand in November for services provided by two Florida vascular access centers dating back to Jan. 1, 2008.

According to the filing, the Department of Justice is investigating "the medical necessity of angiograms performed at the two centers," which provide vascular access management for dialysis patients. The investigation includes medical records of 10 patients.

The company said it "maintains policies and procedures to promote compliance with the False Claims Act and other applicable laws and regulations, and intends to cooperate with the government."

In May, DaVita agreed to pay $450 million to resolve allegations that the company improperly billed Medicare for wasted vials of medication. Less than seven months prior, the company agreed to pay $389 million to settle allegations that paid kickbacks to physicians in exchange for patient referrals. Over the summer, DaVita also announced that it received a civil subpoena from the Department of Health and Human Services requesting records pertaining to patient diagnosis coding and Medicare Advantage risk scores.

For more:
- read the SEC filing

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