DaVita on Nov. 4 received verbal notice of a civil inquiry by the Justice Department and U.S. attorneys office in Atlanta involving the renal-care providers administration of iron and vitamin D. The El Segundo, Calif.-based company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expected a forthcoming request for documents and other information, perhaps in the form of a subpoena.
The inquiry adds to ongoing investigations by HHS inspector generals office and U.S. attorneys in Texas and Missouri into the companys Medicare claims for the anemia drug Epogen reaching back to 2001. None has yielded legal proceedings, the company notes in its third-quarter report, in which it posted net income of $93.9 million, down from $94.5 million the year before.
Responding to these inquiries will continue to require managements attention and significant legal expense, the filing states. Any negative findings could result in substantial financial penalties against the company and exclusion from future participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. -- by Gregg Blesch