Company Accused Of Wasting Medicine To Take Money From Medicare

A whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a doctor and nurse accuses a kidney dialysis provider of intentionally wasting medicine in order to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare. According to the employee, the company used over-sized vials for medicine, intending to have the excess amount deemed to be waste that Medicare pays for.

The New York Times reports the suit is indicative of what’s believed to be a rising phenomenon in the health care industry, related to a January change in Medicare policy. Under the new rules, in an attempt to reign in the overuse of drugs, Medicare pays for the overall cost of treatment rather than individual drugs. Since January, the story says, many healthcare practices have started using larger vials. The company being sued is accused of wasteful practices including using 100-milligram vials for 25-milligram doses of an iron drug.

The company says Medicare approved its dosing plans.

If you work in the medical industry, what signs of waste have you seen?

Lawsuit Says Drugs Were Wasted to Buoy Profit [The New York Times]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.