Aa whistleblower recently submitted a complaint alleging Fresenius and DaVita Kidney Care, along with a charitable organization (American Kidney Fund), conspired in a kickback scheme in which patients were offered incentives to use specific dialysis providers that donated to the charity. The scheme allegedly occurred over the course of years.
According to the complaint, a majority of the money from the American Kidney Fund helps patients pay for their dialysis through grants. Fresenius and DaVita, the two organizations named in the complaint, are among the biggest donors to the organization. As the Fund became more desperate for donations, it began to only offer grants to patients whose dialysis providers contributed to it. This decision was allegedly made under pressure from Fresenius and DaVita.
The whistleblower was a former employee of the American Kidney Fund for 12 years. They point to a case in which the Fund removed applications for financial assistance for patients at Methodist Hospital in Texas after the hospital did not contribute to the program.
The Department of Justice has declined to intervene in the case, a matter DaVita pointed out in its comments on the issue.
Kickback schemes illegal under federal law
Of the various types of healthcare fraud and other medical industry violations, kickbacks are among the most common. They are frequently used as a way to incentivize patients to choose particular procedures or doctors, or for doctors to use particular medications and pharmaceuticals.
In many cases, authorities would not uncover these schemes were it not for the assistance of whistleblowers who provide tips about the presence of these illegal activities.
If you are aware of a kickback scheme in your healthcare organization, consult a dedicated whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group for more information on how to make a report while protecting your rights and privacy.