California

Fake 24-hour Covid-19 testing company fined $22 million in California

IN Covid-19 test company in California has agreed to pay more than $ 22 million in fines after allowing them to test patients more frequently.

Sameday Technologies, which operates the Sameday Health testing centers nationwide, admitted that they falsely claimed that their lab could run Covid tests in 24 hours.

In some cases, test results were given to patients even before the samples reached the laboratory, while others were simply never tested at all. Consumers were charged $ 195 for the false tests.

According to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office’s criminal complaint in the case, the company knew they could not meet the claims they made.

The labs that worked with Sameday told the company that the results could not be reversed at that speed, the complaint said.

The founder of Sameday, Felix Huettenbach is a graduate of both MIT and the University of California, Berkeley

Doctor and podcast host Dr. Jeff Toll, pictured above, is accused of doing Sameday patient screenings that were required for customers who had health insurance

Doctor and podcast host Dr. Jeff Toll, pictured above, is accused of doing Sameday patient screenings that were required for customers who had health insurance

On his Instagram page, Toll has more than 36,000 followers. He told her in his statement that he was proud of the work his office has done during the Covid-19 pandemic

On his Instagram page, Toll has more than 36,000 followers. He told her in his statement that he was proud of the work his office has done during the Covid-19 pandemic

The city attorney said the tests of about 500 people were fake or forged. The company did this by doctoring old PDFs of test results.

In a separate statement, City Attorney Mike Feuer called Sameday’s behavior “except scandalous.”

Feuer said patients went to Sameday in good faith and when they received negative test results, their lives went on by going to work and going on vacation. All the while, they were able to disperse Covid, Feuer said.

The criminal complaint accuses Felix Huettenbach, CEO of Sameday Health, of requiring insured patients to be screened by a doctor during the testing process.

According to his LinkedIn page, Huettenbach founded Sameday in September 2020. He describes the company on his site as ‘Rebuilding the health system with the patient at the center.’

The complaint states that those who pay with cash do not require the doctor’s screening, nor were they allowed access to the doctor.

Authorities accuse hunky famed doctor Jeff Toll of the doctor doing the screenings. For those screenings, the complaint states that Toll’s office charged the insurance companies more than $ 400 per consultation.

Toll is accused of giving some of the profits he made from the performances back to Sameday as a ‘kickback’.

Sameday was founded in 2020 by Huettenback. He claimed that his company

Sameday was founded in 2020 by Huettenback. He claimed that his company “would rebuild the healthcare system with the patient at the center”

Toll's fines amount to $ 3.9 million. That's separate from Sameday's $ 22 million fine

Toll’s fines amount to $ 3.9 million. That’s separate from Sameday’s $ 22 million fine

In March 2022, Sameday posted an article on its website about how lucrative it was to set up a Covid-19 test company in Los Angeles

In March 2022, Sameday posted an article on its website about how lucrative it was to set up a Covid-19 test company in Los Angeles

The complaint called those screenings ‘medically unnecessary’.

As part of the settlement, Toll will have to pay $ 2.8 million in restitution and $ 1.15 million in civil fines. That stands apart from Sameday’s fine.

In a Facebook post, Toll denied all crimes in the case, saying the settlement did not acknowledge guilt.

Toll wrote in part, ‘I take the ethics of my profession very seriously and am extremely proud of how many patients we have cared for during this pandemic.’

Toll said he is a separate entity from Sameday and that he only accounted for the services that were ‘actually provided’.

The doctor added: ‘Although I did nothing wrong, I chose to settle the case with the city, as it would cost more to fight the allegations and win in court.’ In total, Toll’s fines amount to $ 3.9 million.

After the settlement, Sameday said The Los Angeles Times in a statement, ‘In the early days, amid the chaos of massive increases in demand for services, and shortages of supplies, we failed to meet the standards of excellence our customers deserve. We have corrected the problems that arose in 2020 and have made significant investments in compliance and systems to ensure that we meet our customers ‘expectations.’

In March 2022, the company shared an article on its website of the Los Angeles Business Journal about how profitable it was to set up a Covid-19 test company in LA.

This case comes amid renewed interest in Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who in 2015 was found to have misled the public about the revolutionary possibilities for blood testing of her company. From April 2022, Holmes, 38, awaits conviction for wiretapping charges. In total, she could face up to 20 years in prison.

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer described Sameday's behavior as 'shameful' and urged citizens to exercise extreme caution when seeking Covid-19 related services.

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer described Sameday’s behavior as ‘shameful’ and urged citizens to exercise extreme caution when seeking Covid-19 related services.

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