DocGo CEO steps down as New York attorney general's office, NYC officials probe company's migrant health services

The CEO of DocGo, a provider of mobile health services, resigned Friday as the company faces growing scrutiny from state and city officials over its migrant care contract with New York City.

Anthony Capone, the company's former CEO, also faced allegations that he lied about his educational background.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in an emailed statement to Fierce Healthcare, the company said Capone resigned due to "personal reasons."

"The company is grateful for his leadership throughout his tenure at DocGo. Current President and COO Lee Bienstock has assumed the role of CEO, and we have full confidence in his ability to lead the company forward. We remain committed to our mission of delivering high quality, highly accessible healthcare for all," a company spokesperson via email to Fierce Healthcare.

Bienstock was previously DocGo's president and chief operating officer. He joined DocGo in 2022 after 10 years at Google, where he most recently served as global head of enterprise partnerships for devices and services.

Last week, a report from the New York newspaper Times Union questioned information on DocGo's website about Capone's educational background. Capone's biography on DocGo's website stated that he had received a graduate degree in artificial intelligence from Clarkson University. But a spokesman for Clarkson University said the school has no record of Anthony Capone enrolling in or completing a graduate degree at the university, the newspaper reported.

In a statement to the Times Union, Capone, through a spokesperson, acknowledged that the information was incorrect.

“I must clarify immediately: I do not have a master’s degree from Clarkson University, nor from any other institution. This inaccuracy should have been corrected, and I deeply apologize for this error. I do, however, have an undergraduate computer science degree with a focus in artificial intelligence from an accredited university," he said in his statement.

The company also faces growing scrutiny for how it's executing its contract with NYC to help manage more than 110,000 migrants. Last spring, NYC officials raised eyebrows when they declared a state of emergency and awarded DocGo a $432 million no-bid contract to house migrants and provide them with services including case management, medical care, food, transportation, lodging and round-the-clock security.

The company manages 37 sites across the state, including 24 sites in the city.

The New York State Attorney General's office is now investigating the medical services for possible violations of state or federal laws over the treatment of people in its care, The New York Times and other media outlets have reported.

The attorney general’s Civil Rights Bureau sent a letter to DocGo’s attorneys detailing “serious concerns” it has regarding potential violations of state and federal laws in its handling of the job of finding shelter for thousands of migrants and ensuring they are receiving proper healthcare and processing, the Times Union reported, citing a copy of the letter that it has reviewed.

The attorney general’s office detailed allegations for the company about reports of migrants receiving misleading information when they were bused to hotels upstate, including inaccurate details about employment opportunities and their enrollment in healthcare plans for which they are not eligible.

A DocGo spokesperson acknowledged that the attorney general's office had requested information.

“Since the launch of our program, we’ve worked with government partners to ensure we are delivering excellent, compassionate care to asylum seekers. DocGo’s asylee sites have received many visits from multiple city and state agencies since our contract began, and we’ve always cooperated in a fully transparent manner. We are working with the AG’s office in the same manner and have provided the requested information for review," the spokesperson said in a statement sent via email.

Monday, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander announced he will be conducting a first-of-its-kind audit of the oversight of the operations and invoices incurred by DocGo. 

In a new letter sent to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Lander noted his office has “serious concerns about the selection of this vendor and its performance of contract duties,” adding that “agencies must seek to obtain as much competition in vendor selection as is practicable” and “ensure that selected vendors have the requisite expertise and wherewithal to perform as required under the contract," according to a press release from the NYC comptroller's office.

Earlier this month, the office declined to approve the no-bid $432 million contract due to outstanding questions about how this vendor was selected and is performing its duties.

“There are just too many outstanding questions and concerns about DocGo and this $432 million no-bid contract,” Lander said in a statement. “New Yorkers deserve real-time oversight and accountability to understand how this price tag was reached, ensure this company has the experience to provide the contracted services, and vet the integrity and responsibility of this vendor.”

The DocGo spokesperson said the company will "l cooperate fully with any information requested during the Comptroller's audit."

"DocGo's contract with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has been formally registered with the City. This program is designed to help the City deliver housing and essential services to care for vulnerable individuals and prevent families and children from sleeping on the streets. We are fully committed to delivering quality services and believe in the positive impact that the program has on those in our care," the spokesperson said.

DocGo had been growing rapidly, spurred by its work with governments to offer COVID-19 testing during the pandemic. The company was able to build on those relationships and shift to offering mobile primary care services.

Formerly called Ambulnz, the company hit the public market in November 2021 in a special purpose acquisition company deal. Founded in 2015, DocGo offers what it calls "last-mile" healthcare services to patients in their homes or at work, such as testing, vaccinations, bloodwork, IV hydration, wound care, mobile imaging and EKGs, among other services. Together with its integrated Ambulnz medical transport services, DocGo says it bridges the gap between physical and virtual care.

In June, the company unveiled new payer partnerships and multiyear targets on its investor day. DocGo inked new payer agreements with EmblemHealth and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, representing an additional 6.7 million covered lives. Other existing payer partners include UnitedHealthcare, Aetna in New York and New Jersey, Elevance Health, Cigna and L.A. Care and in total represent more than 20 million covered lives. 

From 2016 through 2022, DocGo generated a compounded annual revenue growth rate of 84%, going from $11 million in revenue in 2016 to $440 million in 2022, company executives said during its investor day. This year, DocGo expects to surpass $500 million in annual revenues for the first time and is targeting a $1 billion run rate by the end of 2025.

Company executives told investors its mobile health business was growing at up to a 35% annual rate over the next several years while the transportation business grew 20%. 

During recent public comments, Capone said mobile health services make up about 70% of DocGo's business, and ambulance transportation represents about 30%.