Company Reportedly Gave Priority to Executives’ Friends and Family and Wealthy Concierge Clients
Washington, D.C. (March 2, 2021) — Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent a letter to Amir Dan Rubin, Chair, Chief Executive Officer, and President of One Medical, seeking documents related to reports that One Medical has intentionally distributed coronavirus vaccines to ineligible individuals in multiple locations and urging compliance with state and local prioritization rules going forward.
“Prioritizing the vaccination of Americans who are at higher risk from the coronavirus is critical to saving lives and controlling the pandemic as vaccine manufacturing and distribution ramps up. Yet reports indicate that One Medical has repeatedly and intentionally disregarded vaccine eligibility requirements in multiple cities and states over the past two months—diverting vital vaccine doses away from vulnerable populations to benefit wealthy concierge clients and friends and family members of your company’s executives who are not eligible under state and local guidelines,” wrote Chairman Clyburn. “I am deeply concerned that medical providers’ refusal to adhere to vaccination prioritization guidelines and intentional diversion of doses to individuals in lower priority groups may cost more American lives and delay or even derail containment of the virus across the country.”
One Medical is a membership-based medical practice that provides primary care services to more than 500,000 members in ten states and the District of Columbia. The company has been allocated thousands of doses by several of these jurisdictions to support community vaccination efforts.
Due to limited supplies, state and local authorities set prioritization guidelines that determine which individuals are eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines, but One Medical employees reportedly were instructed by management not to enforce these rules. One Medical reportedly prioritized appointments for friends and family of the company’s leadership, an executive at a partner organization, work-from-home staff at the company’s headquarters, and clients of the company’s concierge medical service—none of whom were eligible under state and local guidelines.
The Washington State Department of Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, and other regulators halted distributions of vaccine doses to One Medical after receiving reports that it was allowing ineligible individuals receive vaccines. Other jurisdictions issued warnings to the company, stating that it must adhere to vaccine prioritization guidelines and verify vaccine eligibility in order to receive additional distributions.
“Public reporting raises questions about the reason for these practices, which apparently continued despite repeated warnings from company employees,” Chairman Clyburn’s letter continued. “These reports raise concerns that the company may be exploiting the federally funded vaccine rollout to increase membership rates and generate fees, regardless of whether prospective fee-paying members are actually eligible for vaccination.”
One report from San Francisco indicated that people paid One Medical’s $199 membership fee in order to take advantage of the company’s vaccination appointment system. Another report from Washington, D.C., revealed that multiple individuals who made vaccination appointments with One Medical through the District of Columbia Department of Health believed they were required to pay the company’s membership fee in order to be vaccinated.
Click here to read the Select Subcommittee’s letter to One Medical.
RELATED STORY | March 2, 2021 | 5:04 AM ET | NPR | Heard on Morning Edition | By Tim Mak
One Medical’s Coronavirus Vaccine Practices Spark Congressional Investigation | NPR
According to NPR on March 2021, Rep. James Clyburn, is chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, is launching its own investigation into One Medical’s vaccine practices. NPR contacted every jurisdiction in which One Medical has a location. At least eight local departments of health that were working with One Medical on COVID-19 vaccinations have suspended allocation of doses to the company or said they had no plans to provide any in the future.
Chairman Clyburn wrote that he is concerned that One Medical “may be exploiting the federally funded vaccine rollout to increase membership rates and generate fees, regardless of whether prospective fee-paying members are actually eligible for vaccination.”
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