The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the settlement of a lawsuit with Fresenius Medical Care North America Inc. (a dialysis provider) for $5.2 million. The settlement came as a result of a whistle blower case brought to the U.S. Attorney’s office by a former employee. The lawsuit alleged Fresenius overcharged medicare for medically unnecessary tests between 2003 and 2010.
The tests involved in the alleged over billing were for hepatitis B as patients with chronic kidney disease run the risk of contracted hepatitis B as well. Medicare sought to address the issue by testing for hepatitis B antibodies monthly in patients lacking immunity. But according to attorneys involved in the case, Fresenius was conducting the tests on patients that “it knew to be immune.” Furthermore, the company didn’t include treating physicians’ orders or accompanying documentation of medical necessity as part of the reimbursement claim.
The kidneys are the body’s blood filters and when they operate correctly, they remove waste from the blood. That waste is then expelled through urine. When the kidneys become damaged that ability to do so may be significantly reduced or lost. Waste builds up in the blood and weakens the patient and can cause damage to the organs. Patients suffering from CKD often are at higher risk of other diseases as well, such as hepatitis, heart disease, certain cancers and more. For more of the latest on kidney disease related legal issues, be sure to like us on FaceBook.