The pressure is rising for the tech-powered primary care platform One Medical as Congress has launched an investigation into its COVID-19 vaccination practices, NPR reported Tuesday.
The publication tracked down a letter sent by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to One Medical late Monday night that raises its concerns and demands documentation of the company’s vaccination processes.
"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," James Clyburn, the subcommittee chairman wrote in the letter, according to NPR.
One Medical has until March 15 to share information about how it has been vaccinating patients, including the demographic breakdowns of the people it has vaccinated so far, as well as communication records of vaccine appointments for those close to the company’s leadership, NPR reported.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT?
During the company’s earnings call last week Amir Dan Rubin, the chairman and CEO of One Medical, addressed the allegations and said “we strongly refute these gross mischaracterizations.”
He went on to describe the “numerous checkpoints” One Medical has in place to verify that the person scheduling a vaccine appointment is eligible.
“However, it is still possible that some people either misrepresented themselves, abused our trust, or booked outside the specific eligibility criteria for their county even if they are eligible in another adjacent county,” Rubin said during the call.
The company claims that 96% of the individuals vaccinated through One Medical have eligibility-proving documentation and the remaining 4% were given vaccines in accordance with zero-waste protocols, according to a statement on its website.
One Medical shared a statement with NPR after learning about the congressional probe, 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."
Still, numerous public health departments in areas where One Medical was vaccinating have cut off their supply to the company, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health went so far as to direct the company to return 1,600 doses.
THE LARGER TREND
One Medical began vaccinating community members of San Francisco at the tail end of 2020, and since then the company has registered as a vaccine provider with more than 30 different jurisdictions, Rubin said during the earnings call.
The company went public early in 2020 and was valued at just over $1.7 billion.
For its first year as a publicly-traded company, One Medical closed the year with $380.2 million in net revenue, 549,000 total members and a number of new markets, including Portland, Oregon; Atlanta; Orange County, California; and Austin, Texas.