On Feb. 21, 2019, the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky announced the settlement of its Medicaid fraud lawsuit against Fresenius Medical Care Holdings Inc. Lawyers at Beasley Allen had the privilege of serving as contract counsel for the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office in this litigation against Fresenius.
The settlement resolves claims by Attorney General Beshear that Fresenius, a Massachusetts-based dialysis provider, violated Medicaid guidelines by failing to warn Kentucky dialysis clinics and doctors from 2003-2012 that its hemodialysis product, GranuFlo, could result in dangerously increased bicarbonate levels. Attorney General Beshear alleged that clinics and doctors needed to know the risks of increased bicarbonate levels from GranuFlo in order to properly treat patients and to not put them at harm. In response to the settlement, Attorney General Beshear reported that Fresenius did the right thing by settling with Kentucky over its Medicaid fraud allegations and by working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to properly label GranuFlo for clinics and doctors.
“These allegations against Fresenius are very serious, and were not taken lightly by my office,” Beshear said. “I do commend the company for working with us on a settlement that will give millions to the state’s Medicaid program that helps provide health care to hundreds of thousands of adults and children in Kentucky.”
The $10.3 million settlement will allow Attorney General Beshear to return more than $5 million to the Kentucky Medicaid program. The remainder of the settlement will go to the Commonwealth for various funding, costs and fees.
Fresenius is the largest provider of kidney dialysis and renal care products, treatment and services in the nation, with more than 2,200 dialysis clinics nationwide, including more than 50 clinics in Kentucky. Fresenius sold GranuFlo to its own clinics, as well as independent clinics in Kentucky.
Since taking office, efforts by Beshear’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse have resulted in the recovery of more than $88 million in obligations to the state and federal Medicaid program, Medicare, Tricare, commercial payers, and other entities through civil settlements and criminal restitution.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office filed this lawsuit in September 2016. The lawyers with the Attorney General’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse oversaw the litigation and settlement, and Beasley Allen attorneys Dee Miles, Lance Gould, Ali Hawthorne, Rachel Boyd, and Lauren Miles had the privilege of working with Beshear’s Office on this case.