Congress is launching an investigation into concierge healthcare provider One Medical following allegations that the company has been administering COVID-19 vaccinations to ineligible patients, according to a new report.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis plans to examine the San Francisco-based company's practices, NPR reported. This comes on the heels of an NPR investigation that found One Medical administered COVID-19 vaccinations to those with connections to leadership as well as ineligible patients.
"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 and instructed staff not to police eligibility," wrote subcommittee Chairman James Clyburn in a letter sent to One Medical late Monday night, the publication reported.
The letter demands documents and information on One Medical's COVID-19 vaccination practices within two weeks, with a deadline of March 15. Among other topics, it seeks demographic breakdowns of COVID-19 vaccines administered to date and communications related to vaccination appointments arranged for those close to the company's executives, according to NPR.
The company has refuted the claims, and, during an earnings call last week, One Medical Chairman, CEO, and President Amir Dan Rubin said "any assertions the company broadly and knowingly disregarded eligibility guidelines are not true and in contradiction to its approach."
One Medical responded to news of the probe Monday, saying: "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," according to NPR.
In a statement on its website, One Medical said it routinely turns people away who do not meet eligibility criteria.
"Our data currently shows nationally 96% of individuals vaccinated by One Medical have eligibility documentation and the remaining 4% generally were vaccinated in accordance with zero wastage protocols," the company said.
After reviewing internal communications, NPR found multiple instances across multiple states in which medical staffers working for One Medical sounded the alarm about improper procedures and lax oversight over eligibility requirements. "We are not policing," a top One Medical staffer told doctors and other medical providers after they raised concerns. One Medical claims that it does not knowingly permit ineligible patients to be vaccinated.
As the congressional investigation begins, numerous local public health departments have halted cooperation with One Medical based on investigations that found vaccination line-skipping.