Medical center group accused of performing unnecessary surgeries

Three states have filed civil complaints against a group of medical centers for allegedly performing unnecessary surgeries on Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, reported Oct. 4.

Berwyn, Pa.-based Fresenius Vascular Care, one of its executives and several affiliates were named in the New Jersey lawsuit, and they are accused of violating the New Jersey False Claims Act as well as New York and Georgia laws.

The suit alleges that the centers scheduled end-stage renal disease patients for invasive procedures every three to four months, purportedly to preserve their dialysis access sites. Investigators said most patients had no problems receiving dialysis and the surgeries were unnecessary. The center is also accused of falsifying patient referrals, ignoring relevant medical records and falsifying diagnostic reports to justify billing for repeat procedures. 

The suit also alleges that the centers pressured its providers to adopt the scheme and created incentives to maximize the number of procedures performed on dialysis patients. 

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