Government files suit against company; billed unnecessary procedures performed on dialysis patients to Medicare
A suit was filed in the Eastern District of New York on Tuesday on behalf of government prosecutors alleging that Fresenius Vascular Care Inc. had committed fraud by performing unnecessary procedures on dialysis patients at nine of the company’s centers in New York City, Long Island and Westchester and billing the procedures to Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Health Benefits Program and TRICARE under the False Claims Act.
From January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2018, Fresenius had performed dialysis procedures on patients with End Stage renal Disease (ESRD) without clinical indications that the patients needed the treatments.
The procedures included fistula grams – radiological procedures in which dye is injected into the patient’s vein or artery to visualize the port and surrounding blood vessels, and angioplasties, in which balloons and wires are inserted into veins that have narrowed to increase the patient’s blood flow. Fresenius allegedly had knowingly conducted these tests on ESRD patients – including the elderly, disadvantaged minority and low-income people – with motive of increasing its revenues.
The government filed its complaint in an ongoing action commenced pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, United States ex rel. Pepe and Sherman v. Fresenius Medical Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 14-CV-3505 (ERK). The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jolie Apicella and Anjna Kapoor, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ellen Buntin of the Office’s Civil Division.
Defendants operated vascular access centers at the following locations during the relevant period:
- American Access Care of Bellmore (now “American Access Care Nassau County”), 250 Pettit Avenue, Suite 2, Bellmore, NY 11710
- American Access Care Brooklyn, 577 Prospect Avenue, Lower Level, Brooklyn, NY 11215
- American Access Care of New York (now “American Access Care Manhattan”), 403 E. 91st St., Floor 2, New York, NY 10128
- American Access Care Queens, 176-60 Union Turnpike #130, Suite 130, Flushing, NY 11366
- American Access Care Suffolk County, 32 Central Ave., Hauppauge, NY 11788
- American Access Care Bronx, 1200 Waters Pl. N. Lobby, Suite M 115, Bronx, NY 10461
- Saqib Chaudhry, MD – Flushing, 176-60 Union Turnpike Utopia Center, Suite 145, Flushing, NY 11366
- Saqib Chaudhry, MD – Roslyn, 1044 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Roslyn, NY 11676 (no longer operating)
- Verrazano Vascular Associates at Access Care Physicians, 2025 Richmond Ave., Suite 1LL, Staten Island, NY 10314
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