Gambro Healthcare U.S., Lakewood, Colo., said it expects to pay $350 million to settle civil and criminal fraud charges and to sign a corporate integrity agreement with the HHS' inspector general's office as part of the settlement. The U.S. subsidiary of Sweden-based Gambro AB said it will take a second-quarter charge of $355 million to cover the settlement. Gambro AB is the world's second-largest dialysis provider with 560 U.S. clinics and more than 100 clinics outside the states. The U.S. Justice Department and HHS' inspector general's office have not signed off on the deal, but Gambro Healthcare said it was obligated by Swedish law to disclose the settlement once a preliminary figure was reached. The company hopes to complete the settlement by year-end, Gambro Healthcare spokesman Ed Egger said. The settlement stems from a 2001 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis and the allegations date to 1991, the company said. The U.S. attorney in St. Louis, Jim Martin, declined to comment because the matter was not yet resolved.
While not admitting wrong-doing, Gambro Healthcare said it would pay $310 million to resolve civil allegations that it submitted false Medicare claims and may have had illegal relationships with physicians and pharmaceutical companies. An additional $15 million would be held in escrow for possible state Medicaid program claims. Gambro Healthcare would pay $25 million to resolve criminal charges that a predecessor company, REN Supply Corp., made false statements in 1993 and 1996 to circumvent federal prohibitions. Gambro Supply Co., which closed in December 2002, agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal count and would be the only Gambro unit excluded from U.S. federal and state healthcare programs under the settlement. -- by Mark Taylor