Denver-based DaVita HealthCare says it will pay $389 million to settle federal investigations

DaVita HealthCare Partners said Tuesday it will pay $389 million to settle criminal and civil anti-kickback investigations and plans to end joint ventures with kidney doctors involving 28 dialysis clinics.

Denver-based DaVita's CEO, Kent Thiry, announced in an earnings call with shareholders that the company has "agreed to a framework" for settling federal investigations into some of the company's relationships with kidney doctors' offices.

He said the exact settlement still is being finalized, but that both he and federal attorneys expect to hammer out the details in coming months.

A statement DaVita released Tuesday said the settlement will include payment of about $389 million, the appointment of an independent compliance monitor and new restrictions on some of the joint ventures it has reached with nephrologists. The company also said it will enter into a corporate integrity agreement, a standard practice in such settlements.

Garry Menzel, the chief financial officer for DaVita, said the company "most likely" will buy out or sell 11 joint ventures it reached with kidney doctors involving 28 dialysis centers as part of the settlement. Those transactions will be done at "fair market value," he said.

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