A COVID-19 testing company is facing investigations from multiple states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services into its business practices.
Center for COVID Control, which operated hundreds of pop-up COVID testing clinics around the country, was forced to shut down last week amid the numerous investigations. The most recent legal trouble for the company came on Wednesday (January 19), when Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit against the company, and another testing company, Doctors Clinical Laboratory Inc.
Ellison said the companies "either failed to deliver test results or delivered test results that were falsified or inaccurate."
His lawsuit comes amid a report from KNTV detailing an 81-page investigative report into the companies from CMS. Inspectors found one shipment of specimen tubes that were not labeled with a patient name or unique identifier, meaning the lab had no way to alert the patient of the results. In addition, the shipment, which contained 51 specimens, "did not contain any type of refrigerated packs to maintain shipping temperature.
The report also detailed an 11-day stretch in which the company's lab received over 84,000 samples to test. The lab was unable to handle the large number of tests and lacked the proper equipment to store the samples. As a result, over 41,000 tests were not processed within the 72-hour timetable in which the tests were valid.
There is some confusion about the relationship between the two companies. A spokesperson for the Center for COVID Control said the company runs the pop-up clinics and then sends the specimens to Doctors Clinical Laboratory, which is a separate company that conducts PCR testing. However, employees at the lab told federal inspectors they work Center for COVID Control.
Officials said that anybody who was tested at a clinic run by the Center for COVID Control should get retested as a precaution.