One Medical CEO refutes claims that clinics gave COVID-19 vaccines to ineligible clients

An image outside of a One Medical Clinic
One Medical has come under fire in California, Oregon and Washington for allegedly inoculating young, healthy people who were ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, an investigation by NPR found. (One Medical)

One Medical continues to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses in partnership with local health departments, which could become a material factor in the company's 2021 revenue.

But the San Francisco-based company has come under fire in California, Oregon and Washington for allegedly inoculating young, healthy people who were ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, an investigation by NPR found. Friends and family of company leadership and ineligible people were allowed to skip the line ahead of high-risk patients, the investigation found.

During the company's full-year 2020 and fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday, Amir Dan Rubin, chair, and CEO and president of One Medical, said "any assertions the company broadly and knowingly disregarded eligibility guidelines are not true and in contradiction to its approach."

"We strongly refute these gross mischaracterizations. We have made strides to vaccinate tens of thousands of eligible community members, the vast majority referred from public health," he said.

But three Bay Area counties have suspended coronavirus vaccine supplies to One Medical under allegations that its procedures allowed ineligible individuals to cut the line, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

RELATED: Pent-up demand, return-to-work market boosts One Medical's membership

In Washington, D.C., One Medical offices are serving teachers and essential workers, and in New York City, the company is vaccinating in homeless shelters. The company has registered as a vaccine provider with more than 30 different jurisdictions.

"In terms of eligibility checking, we have numerous checkpoints in place, including appointment booking via schedule scanning and in-person verification at the point of care," he said. "It is still possible that some people either misrepresented themselves, abused our trust, or booked outside the specified eligibility criteria for their county even if they were eligible in an adjacent county."

"We believe that these are gross mischaracterizations of our outstanding work and our focus on leveraging our strengths to serve communities and departments of public health. We continue to do that work and anticipate that work to go strongly," Rubin said.

One Medical, which went public in January, markets itself as a membership-based, tech-integrated and consumer-focused primary care platform. The company is currently in 12 different markets across the U.S., with five more to open up in 2021.

The company plans to go into four new markets and add 30 to 40 new offices in both new and existing markets in 2021, according to Rubin.

RELATED: One Medical posts wider loss in Q1 despite strong revenue gains

Ongoing COVID-19 testing and vaccines could be "material potential swing factors" in its 2021 revenue as it works with employers and its own medical practices to roll out vaccine doses.

One Medical's fourth-quarter revenue jumped to $122 million, up 57% from $77 million during the same period last year. Full-year 2020 net revenue reached $380 million, a 38% increase year over year.

The company's membership jumped 30% in the fourth quarter to reach 549,000 members compared to 422,000 members in the fourth quarter of 2019, One Medical reported. The company also had more than 8,000 employer clients and more than 5 million digital and in-person interactions during 2020.

“We have continued to see our human-centered and technology-powered model deliver impacts at scale," Rubin said.

RELATED: One Medical plans to move into North Carolina, Wisconsin amid Q2 membership jumps

In the fourth quarter, One Medical reported a loss of $8 million, or six cents a share, compared with a loss of $19.5 million, or $1.03 a share, in the year-ago period, according to its filing.

For full-year 2020, the company reported a loss of $89 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with a loss of $54 million, or $2.84 a share, in 2019.

The company's quarterly revenue and earnings topped expectations. Wall Street analysts expected a loss of 14 cents a share for the quarter on revenue of $106 million.

For the first quarter of 2021, One Medical expects its membership to reach to between 590,000 and 600,000. The company also is projecting total net revenue in the first quarter of 2021 in the range of between $113 million and $118 million.

For full-year 2021, the company expects revenue to reach between $465 million and $485 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the year is expected to be in the range of a loss of $20 million to break-even.

One Medical expects membership to climb to 660,000 and up to 680,000.