DaVita, the kidney care and dialysis providing company that’s formerly been in hot water in the form of a wrongful deaths lawsuit, once again finds itself in the center of a legal maelstrom. This time, in direct connection to illicit practices allegedly being perpetrated by one of its subsidiaries, HealthCare Partners Holdings, which the company purchased in 2012 and which they’re currently trying to sell to UnitedHealth Group, Inc.
DaVita’s decided to settle, paying a cool $270 million out of escrow funds. So, what did they do this time? According to the findings of a broader investigation into “risk adjustment” payments, DaVita’s HealthCare Partners Holdings was allegedly contracting with insurers in order to provide service to Medicare Advantage patients.
Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurance companies and the government pays these out monthly based on patient health data. According to reports from the Justice Dept., HealthCare Partners utilized various unsavory tactics such as scouring patient records for diagnoses they could use to increase Medicare payment and even submitting incorrect information about these diagnoses in order to further pad their profits.
This news hardly comes as a surprise considering the company’s checkered past, but does provide some relief for those who’ve been eagerly awaiting some measure of justice.
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