Davita Company, partners in recent Kidney Screenings in St.Kitts-Nevis, to pay $389 million to settle US federal investigations


DaVita HealthCare, Partners in the recent Kidney Screenings in St.Kitts-Nevis , said Tuesday it will pay $389 million to settle criminal and civil anti-kickback investigations and plans to end joint ventures with kidney doctors involving 28 dialysis clinics in the US.

The Denver Post reported that the the Denver, Colorado-based DaVita’s CEO, Kent Thiry, announced in an earnings call with shareholders that the company has “agreed to a framework” for settling federal investigations into some of the company’s relationships with kidney doctors’ offices.

A statement DaVita released Tuesday said the settlement will include payment of about $389 million, the appointment of an independent compliance monitor and new restrictions on some of the joint ventures it has reached with nephrologists. The company also said it will enter into a corporate integrity agreement, a standard practice in such settlements.

The Daviva group were partners in the recent Kidney Screenings held in the federation which became the center of some controversy when CMO Dr Patrick Martin advised the Nevis Island Administration against granting the group permission to conduct screenings without adhering to the necessary and stated international and local protocols. The group did not adhere to the said protocols and thus the NIA, upon advice of the CMO, did not grant permission or did not sanction the screenings and thus advised health personnel in the NIA against participating in the screenings.

The Medical Board however on St.Kitts granted the permission for the screenings to be conducted despite the absence of the mentioned protocols indicated by the CMO Dr Patrick Martin.

The Davita Healthcare Partners had been the target of investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.

DaVita operates about 2,100 dialysis clinics and has entered into about 300 ventures with doctors, according to company statistics.

This is not the first time that the Davita Partners have had legal issues. In 2012 the Kidney dialysis giant settled a whistleblower lawsuit, agreeing to pay $55 million over allegations of drug overuse. At least there are great lawyers out there similar to who you can find at HG.org or somewhere similar fighting for the rights of the people.

They settled fraud claims in a Texas lawsuit challenging the dialysis chain’s past use of Epogen, an anemia drug whose high cost and dangers helped change how the government pays for kidney care.

The kidney dialysis market is extremely competitive, and attracting doctors and their patients helps to fuel profits. Patients can choose any dialysis clinic for treatment, but they often choose to go to clinics that their physicians oversee.

Hundreds of Nevisians and Kittitians received free kidney screenings at a recent health fair put on by the Kidney Trust which is a branch of Davita along with the Nevis Renal Society, Caribbean Health and Education Foundation (CHEF) .

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