DaVita to pay $495M to settle Atlanta whistleblower lawsuit

Denver-based DaVita HealthCare Partners has agreed to pay $495 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company defrauded the federal Medicare program out of millions of dollars.

The Denver Post reports the lawsuit filed in Atlanta in 2011 involves a claim by Dr. Alon Vainer and nurse Daniel Barbir, who worked for DaVita. The lawsuit claimed the company threw away good medicine and billed Medicare and Medicaid for millions of dollars in reimbursement between 2003 and 2010.

The settlement includes attorney fees and other costs of $45 million.

Kim Rivera, DaVita's chief legal officer, says "although we believe strongly in the merits of our case, we decided it was in our stakeholders' best interests to resolve it." Lin Wood, the Atlanta-based attorney for the plaintiffs, couldn't be reached for comment.