DaVita, former CEO charged with colluding with Surgical Care Affiliates to stifle competition

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Denver-based DaVita, an outpatient medical services provider specializing in dialysis and kidney care, has been indicted in connection with a collusion investigation involving Deerfield, Ill.-based Surgical Care Affiliates,the Justice Department said July 15.

A federal grand jury in Denver indicted DaVita and Kent Thiry, its former CEO, as co-conspirators with SCA to suppress competition for senior-level employees from February 2012 to July 2017. SCA was indicted in January for collusion with several other healthcare organizations, and the case is pending.

The indictment also alleges DaVita and Mr. Thiry made an agreement with another unnamed healthcare company to avoid soliciting DaVita's employees from April 2017 to June 2019.

The maximum penalty for DaVita is a $200 million fine, and Mr. Thiry faces up to 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

Karen Crummy, a spokesperson for Mr. Thiry, disputes the allegations. "These allegations are false and rely on a radical legal theory about senior executive recruitment without precedent in U.S. history," she said in a statement to Becker's. "The government took steps to ignore – and even hide – key evidence. The facts bear it out decisively: No antitrust violations occurred, these companies hired DaVita executives for years, and the companies are not competitors."

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