The government lodges a complaint against the company; billed Medicare for unnecessary procedures performed on dialysis patients

American Access Care Brooklyn at 577 Prospect Avenue at Windsor Terrace, which had been operated by Fresenius during the period relevant to the government case. Photo courtesy of Google Maps

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of government prosecutors alleging that Fresenius Vascular Care Inc. committed fraud by performing unnecessary procedures on dialysis patients at nine of the company’s centers in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. and billing for procedures to Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Health Benefits Program, and TRICARE under the False Claims Act.

From January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2018, Fresenius performed dialysis procedures on patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) without clinical indication that the patients needed the treatments.

Procedures included fistulas – x-ray procedures in which dye is injected into the patient’s vein or artery to visualize the port and surrounding blood vessels, and angioplasties, in which balloons and wires are inserted into veins which have narrowed to increase the patient’s blood flow. Fresenius is said to have knowingly performed these tests on patients with ESRD – including the elderly, disadvantaged minorities and low-income people – in an effort to increase his income.

The government filed its complaint in an ongoing lawsuit under the who tam provisions of the law on misrepresentation, United States ex rel. grandpa and Sherman v. Fresenius Medical Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 14-CV-3505 (ERK). The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jolie Apicella and Anjna Kapoor, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ellen Buntin of the bureau’s Civil Division.

The defendants operated vascular access centers at the following locations during the relevant period:

  • American Access Care of Bellmore (now “American Access Care Nassau County”), 250 Pettit Avenue, Suite 2, Bellmore, NY 11710
  • American Access Care Brooklyn, 577 Prospect Avenue, Lower Level, Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • American Access Care of New York (now “American Access Care Manhattan”), 403 E. 91st St., Floor 2, New York, NY 10128
  • American Access Care Queens, 176-60 Union Turnpike #130, Suite 130, Flushing, NY 11366
  • American Access Care Suffolk County, 32 Central Ave., Hauppauge, NY 11788
  • American Access Care Bronx, 1200 Waters Pl. Hall N., Suite M 115, Bronx, NY 10461
  • Saqib Chaudhry, MD – Flushing, 176-60 Union Turnpike Utopia Center, Suite 145, Flushing, NY 11366
  • Saqib Chaudhry, MD – Roslyn, 1044 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Roslyn, NY 11676 (no longer operating)
  • Verrazano Vascular Associates at Access Care Physicians, 2025 Richmond Ave., Suite 1LL, Staten Island, NY 10314