COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that Ohio has joined four states and the federal government to settle allegations that one of the leading providers of dialysis services in the United States paid illegal kickbacks to induce the referral of patients to its dialysis clinics.
DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. has agreed to pay a total of $22,356,143.08 to resolve the allegations with respect to the Medicaid program, which is a shared program between the federal and state governments.
Ohio’s share of the settlement is $597,226.76 in restitution and other recoveries.
“It is illegal for healthcare providers to reward physicians for referring patients to them, so claims filed in association with those referrals are invalid,” said Attorney General DeWine. “I am pleased that through this settlement Ohio has recovered funds that we believe DaVita improperly collected from Ohio Medicaid.”
In addition to Ohio, California, Colorado, Florida, and Kentucky are also involved in the settlement.
The settlement is based on a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower under the federal False Claims Act and similar state statutes and involves 46 dialysis clinics that DaVita co-owned with physicians, including three clinics in Columbus and one in Wauseon.
DaVita, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has dialysis clinics in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU) Team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with DaVita on behalf of the states.