The United States Department of Justice dismissed a pending lawsuit against Fresenius Medical, a German healthcare products manufacturer. The lawsuit was brought against the company due to allegations of Medicare fraud. According to prosecutors, Fresenius willfully overbilled Medicare for kidney dialysis.
The dismissal of the lawsuit by the DOJ follows another decision by a lower federal appeals court. The federal appeals court vacated an $83 million verdict against the company by a lower court. Ben Lipps is CEO of Fresenius Medical. In comments made to Law360.com, Lipps said, “We are pleased to have this lengthy litigation successfully concluded.”
According to details from the lawsuit, Fresenius allegedly overbilled Medicare for its home dialysis services from 1999 to 2005. A lower court had ordered Fresenius to pay the U.S. government $83 million.
While the Medicare case has been successfully resolved, the company still faces some potential problems. In June of last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began an investigation of Fresenius’ dialysis centers after 900 patients had heart attacks at centers it managed. An internal company memo stated that improper use of the company’s dialysis concentrate could lead to cardiovascular events. In particular, the memo detailed that the Granuflo dialysis concentrate could increase the risk of heart attacks by 500 percent in some patients.
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