Using the False Claims Act and other federal laws, the Justice Department in 2015 went after DaVita and other corporations accused of defrauding the government. The companies were forced to pay a combined $3.5 billion in settlements and judgements, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
DaVita, the leading provider of dialysis services in the United States, agreed to pay two of the largest settlements: $450 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly generated unnecessary waste in administering the drugs Zemplar and Venofer to dialysis patients and billed the government for costs that could have been avoided; and $350 million for paying kickbacks to physicians to induce patient referrals to its clinics.
Another major settlement was reached with First Tennessee Bank N.A., which agreed to pay $212.5 million because its subsidiary, First Horizon Home Loans Corporation, originated and endorsed mortgages for federal insurance by the Federal Housing Administration that did not meet eligibility requirements.
Using the Stark Law, which prohibits certain financial relationships between hospitals and doctors that could improperly influence patient referrals, prosecutors went after several hospitals for filing false claims: Adventist Health System ($115 million); North Broward Hospital District ($69.5 million); and Georgia hospital system Columbus Regional Healthcare System and Dr. Andrew Pippas for $25 million plus contingent payments up to an additional $10 million.
The list also included pharmaceutical companies, such as Daiichi…