Lawmakers are investigating San Francisco-based healthcare provider One Medical after it was accused of offering COVID vaccines to ineligible patients, including those with connections to leadership.
The publicly-traded company is said to have instructed staff to ignore eligibility requirements and tricked patients into joining its paid membership program.
These rumors have been confirmed by employees and patients who spoke with NPR. “There is uniform agreement that what everyone has seen with their own eyes or read from colleagues…is in direct contrast with what OM leadership is saying now,” said one employee. “People found it demoralizing and frustrating that they are not owning the mistakes and instead…making excuses, and finger pointing.”
In a letter sent to One Medical this week, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) gave the company 15 days to provide lawmakers with documentation regarding its COVID procedures and the demographic breakdown of vaccines administered.
“Despite being warned that the company’s lax oversight of vaccine eligibility rules was allowing ineligible patients to jump the line, One Medical has reportedly failed to properly implement an effective protocol to verify eligibility,” he wrote.
Clyburn, who leads the House subcommittee on COVID, criticized One Medical’s “irresponsible practices” and said that “prioritizing the vaccination of Americas who are at higher risk from the coronavirus is critical to saving lives and controlling the pandemic.”
One Medical has denied all allegations, though a facility in San Mateo County said it administered vaccinations to 70 ineligible patients “in order to avoid spoilage.”
“We remain dedicated to lending our time and resources to providing equitable and accessible care for the communities we serve, and are confident that we will be able to clear up these misunderstandings,” the company said in a statement.
As the investigation proceeds, several health departments throughout California and Washington have suspended allocation of COVID doses to One Medical and in some cases are demanding the return of doses already delivered.