Fre­se­nius plans to ap­peal $83 mil­lion fraud judg­ment

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Fre­se­nius Med­i­cal Care of­fi­cials plan to ap­peal a rul­ing in which a fed­eral judge or­dered the Nashville-based re­nal-ther­apy provider to pay $83 mil­lion in civil penal­ties for de­fraud­ing Medi­care by im­prop­erly in­flat­ing re­quests for pay­ments. U.S. District Judge Wil­liam Haynes Jr. ruled that Fre­se­nius sub­sidiaries Re­nal Care Group and Re­nal Care Group Sup­ply Co. ex­hib­ited a “reck­less dis­re­gard” to­ward the fed­eral law that for­bids providers of in­pa­tient dial­y­sis treat­ment from re­ceiv­ing a 30% pay­ment bonus for ser­vices pro­vided in pa­tients’ homes. Haynes wrote that the ev­i­dence showed that be­tween 1999 and 2005, Fre­se­nius il­le­gally billed Medi­care for 3,979 pa­tients un­der the en­hanced-pay­ment method, re­sult­ing in to­tal penal­ties of $82.6 mil­lion, in­clud­ing triple dam­ages un­der the False Claims Act. The sum­mary judg­ment rul­ing su­per­sedes a March de­ci­sion in which the judge con­cluded the com­pany owed $19 mil­lion. Fre­se­nius at­tor­neys said in court records that the pay­ment ar­range­ment was ap­proved by in-house coun­sel and that “a Medi­care of­fi­cial” had as­sured the com­pany the ar­range­ment was legal. Fre­se­nius spokes­woman Jane Kramer said com­pany of­fi­cials con­tinue to deny li­a­bil­ity in the whis­tle-blower case. “We are go­ing to ap­peal, and we ex­pect that the case will be re­manded for trial on the mer­its,” she said.

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