Mark Payne Jan. 9, 2015, 10:23am


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi joined four other states in reaching a $22 million settlement with DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. on Wednesday over allegations of Medicaid fraud. 

The company, which offers dialysis services in 46 states and the District of Columbia, allegedly offered kickbacks for patient referrals, which resulted in false claims to Medicaid.

As part of the deal, Florida will receive $5.6 million from DaVita. Other states agreeing to the settlement were Colorado, Kentucky, California and Ohio.

The settlement followed a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who alleged that between March 1, 2005 and Feb. 1, the Denver-based company offered doctors who treated renal disease opportunities to partner with the company so that they would refer their patients to DaVita clinics. DaVita also allegedly entered into non-compete and non-disparagement agreements with physicians who partnered with the company. 

“Health care providers base medical decisions on the individual needs of their patients, not on their own financial interests,” Bondi said. “My office will continue to protect Floridians from health care providers who use kickbacks to induce patient referrals and put profits ahead of sound medical decision-making.”

DaVita previously agreed to a $350 million federal settlement in addition to a $39 million civil forfeiture. 

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