Renal Care hit with Medicare whistleblower suit

Renal Care Group and a handful of related businesses have been hit with a federal whistleblower suit for allegedly submitting false claims to Medicare. The suit, which names Renal Care Group, Renal Care Group Supply Co. and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, contends the companies fraudulently billed for home dialysis supplies and equipment for End Stage Renal Disease patients. The suit was filed on behalf of the federal government by a group of private individuals under federal whistleblower statutes.

The suit seeks civil penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 for each allegedly fraudulent claim the companies presented. This could definitely mount up to big fines, as the suit is looking at claims filed over a six year period between January 1999 and December 2005.

The renal supply claims were fraudulent, according the suit, because dialysis facilities can't provide dialysis supplies to ESRD patients unless the supply companies are completely independent from the facilities--and on top of that, the ESRD patient has to choose to get their supplies from the independent supply company.

To learn more about the suit:
- read this St. Louis Business Journal piece

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