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Federal inspectors investigating ‘numerous complaints’ about labs and testing sites associated with Center for Covid Control

<i>Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette/USA Today Network</i><br/>A Covid-19 testing site run by Center for Covid Control in Worcester
Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette /
Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette/USA Today Network
A Covid-19 testing site run by Center for Covid Control in Worcester

By Liz Stark, CNN

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is investigating “numerous complaints” about labs and testing sites associated with the Center for Covid Control, the agency confirmed to CNN Friday.

“We take seriously any allegations of fraud or misbehavior by COVID-19 testing sites. CMS’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality investigates these kinds of complaints and is aware of several alleged instances of misconduct by this company’s labs,” said Dr. Lee Fleisher, chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality for CMS, in a statement.

On Wednesday, Minnesota’s attorney general sued CCC and its associated clinical lab, claiming they failed to deliver Covid-19 test results or delivered untimely or falsified test results.

The lawsuit filed by Keith Ellison in Hennepin County district court says the Minnesota Department of Health got complaints after people were tested for Covid-19 at pop-up testing sites around the state operated by CCC.

CCC has not responded to a CNN request for comment.

“CMS is actively investigating numerous complaints about multiple laboratories and testing sites associated with the Center for COVID Control,” Fleisher said, adding CMS “continues our investigations and will take compliance and enforcement actions as appropriate.”

CMS conducted on-site complaint surveys at multiple testing sites and the main lab used by CCC — the Doctors Clinical Laboratory — in November and December, according to a CMS spokesperson.

“CMS identified non-compliance and is waiting on an allegation of compliance from the laboratory to address the deficiencies cited,” the CMS spokesperson said.

CCC announced last week it would pause operations from January 14 to 22 because “unusually high patient demand has stressed staffing resources, as has been widely reported, in a subset of our locations, affecting our usual customer service standards and diagnostic goals.”

“Center for Covid Control is committed to serving our patients in the safest, most accurate and most compliant manner,” CCC founder and CEO Aleya Siyaj said in the announcement. “Regrettably, due to our rapid growth and the unprecedented recent demand for testing, we haven’t been able to meet all our commitments.”

On Thursday, CCC announced on its website all locations are closed until further notice.

The pause in operations will be used “to train additional staff on sample collection and handling, customer service and communications best practices, as well as compliance with regulatory guidelines,” according to the Center.

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