WASHINGTON (Reuters) - DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc, the largest provider of dialysis services in the United States, has agreed to pay $450 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.
It said the Denver-based company, whose largest shareholder is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, knowingly created unnecessary waste in administering the drugs Zemplar and Venofer to dialysis patients, and then billed the federal government.
The company allegedly administered single-use vials of Zemlar containing larger doses of the drug than patients needed and charged the government for entire vials, even though leftovers were thrown out, according to the complaint. It also required nurses to frequently administer Venofer in small amounts “to maximize wastage,” the department said.
Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Lisa Lambert