Federal agency launches investigation into lab connected to Tucson COVID testing site

KMSB News 9-10 p.m. recurring
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 7:24 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A national COVID testing company, with a location in Tucson, is now the focus of an investigation by a federal agency.

The Center for COVID Control announced on Thursday, January 13, it would pause all operations as it worked to provide additional training to staff and ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines.

The lab the company uses is now under investigation.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed it is looking into Doctors Clinical Laboratory, the Center for COVID Control’s clinical testing vendor partner.

CMS sent us this statement from Dr. Lee Fleisher, the Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality:

We called and emailed Center for COVID Control to see if it plans to re-open on Saturday, January 22, but have not heard back.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said CMS has oversight of operations from a medical services standpoint, but could ask ADHS to investigate on its behalf.

At this time, ADHS said it has not received a request from CMS to step in.

The Pima County Health Department is aware of pop-up testing sites around the county but does not regulate or license them.

Any pop-up testing clinic doing rapid testing in Arizona must have a CLIA license (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) and that license should be posted and available.

The Pima County Health Department encourages people to ask to see the license if it is not posted.

We checked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, and the Doctors Clinical Laboratory’s CLIA license is in compliance.

Pima County health officials said neither the county nor the state health departments have any regulatory authority over COVID testing vendors who receive their CLIA certifications in another state.

According to the CDC, the Doctor’s Clinical Laboratory has an Illinois address.

We contacted the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which could not confirm whether anyone has filed a consumer complaint with the office but encourages anyone who believes to have been a victim of consumer fraud, to contact them to file a consumer complaint.

We also reached out to the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona, but have not heard back.

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