CNN: DaVita Whistleblowers Hire Private Attorneys

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DENVER—Two DaVita whistleblowers who alleged the dialysis provider intentionally threw away extra medication to boost reimbursement have hired private attorneys to bring the case to trial in 2013, according to CNN.

“CNN has reported a grossly one-sided story that recounts old allegations from 2007 and contains false information that is reported out of context,” Vince Hancock, from DaVita told RBT in an e-mail.

The original suit was filed on behalf of the U.S. Government under the False Claims Act in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by a former Gambro/DaVita clinic director, Daniel D. Barbir, RN, and Alon J. Vainer, MD, a nephrologist who served as Medical Director of Gambro and DaVita dialysis clinics in Georgia.

Vainer Barbir are now taking matters into their own hands after the federal government declined to pursue the case last year, according to the news network.

DaVita told CNN that the U.S. Department of Justice already investigated the case and chose not to pursue it to trial. In addition, the DoJ told CNN that it does not have enough manpower to prosecute every case so it declined to pursue this particular one.

As a result, the whistleblowers are using private attorneys to bring the case to court next year.

According to the original lawsuit, the “dosing grids” were designed to increase volume rebates and discounts to the defendants from the manufacturers of the medications, which centered on Venofer, an iron supplement; Zemplar, a vitamin D analog; and the anemia drug Epogen.

The suit alleged that DaVita’s protocols were design to increase wastage whenever possible for Vitamin D and iron drugs where the government paid for the wastage while ensuring that there was no waste of EPO.

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