Dialysis provider DaVita, El Segundo, Calif., said it received a request from HHS inspector generals office for records relating to Epogen claims to Medicare. Epogen is used for treatment of anemia in dialysis patients with chronic renal failure.
The request was sent from the inspector generals office in Houston and the company has been in contact with the U.S. attorneys office for the Eastern District of Texas, which stated this was a civil inquiry, DaVita said. A spokeswoman for the civil division of the Eastern District of Texas said the office could not comment.
DaVita is cooperating with the inquiry and will be producing the requested records, a company news release said. There appears to be substantial overlap between this issue and the ongoing review of Epogen utilization and claims being reviewed by the U.S. attorneys office for the Eastern District of Missouri.
The company also said use of Epogen was the subject of a multiyear investigation by the U.S. attorneys office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which closed without any action taken against the company.
"We have had consistently outstanding anemia management and mortality outcomes in DaVita for several years, and we are as comfortable talking about our practices in this area as we have been in our prior two investigations," Kent Thiry, chairman and chief executive officer of DaVita, said in the release. -- by Jessica Zigmond