STUDIO CITY, CA — Californians who paid for coronavirus tests through Sameday Health may be eligible for refunds after a settlement accused the company of giving customers false results.
The Los Angeles-based company will have to pay more than $20 million under the terms of the settlement announced by Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer this week.
As part of the settlement, swathes of Californians who paid out of pocket for a PCR test between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, are expected to be reimbursed by the company.
Certain customers who obtained a PCR test from Sameday outside of this timeframe are eligible and customers who did not obtain results within the advertised timeframe are also eligible for a refund.
Sameday Technologies, which operates under Sameday Health, has a total of 55 testing sites nationwide, with 16 sites in Los Angeles County, including five in the city.
In Los Angeles County, there are 16 locations, with storefronts in Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Manhattan Beach, Studio City, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Hollywood, Culver City, Brentwood, Westchester, Santa Monica and Venice. The company also carries out home visits in the department.
In Studio City, a clinic is still open at 12080 Ventura Pl.
Feuer and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón filed suit, alleging that Sameday Health and its CEO Felix Huettenback falsely advertised that test results would be provided to customers within 24 hours, knowing they would not could not offer this guarantee. The city also alleged that it tampered and tampered with COVID-19 test results for at least 500 customers when it could not provide true results within 24 hours.
According to the complaint, the company manipulated old PDF lab reports from previous tests to falsify the results.
Feuer urged those seeking COVID-19 testing to report any other suspicious testing companies or services to the city.
“It is more than outrageous for anyone to tamper with COVID tests, as we claim here. If you test negative, you assume it is safe to go to work, visit family and friends or go to work. take a vacation. But victims of this alleged scheme may have unknowingly transmitted COVID to others or may not have received timely and appropriate care themselves,” Feuer said.
The complaint also alleged that Sameday Health would falsify the results of customers whose tests were never processed by the labs. Sameday Health also reportedly charged insurance companies that were already paying for COVID-19 tests additional fees for unnecessary medical consultations.
Sameday Health responded to the settlement saying:
“Sameday Health was founded in September 2020 with the goal of making fast, reliable COVID testing available to everyone. At first, amid the chaos of massive increases in demand for services and shortages of supplies, we didn’t met the standards for excellence that our customers deserve,” the company told City News Service.
Another $3.9 million settlement has been reached with Dr. Jeff Toll, a Los Angeles-based doctor who the lawsuit says was a partner in the alleged Sameday Health insurance fraud. Sameday Health required people paying with insurance to consent to and participate in consultations with doctors to obtain a COVID-19 test, while people paying with cash were not required to obtain consultations, according to the complaint.
“My office is dedicated to protecting the people of Los Angeles County from dangerous and costly scams like these and seeking appropriate action against those who take advantage of consumers through fraudulent business practices,” Gascón said. . “It is not only illegal but also unreasonable to defraud people seeking medical assistance in the midst of a public health crisis. We will continue to work to bring justice to victims of all crimes, including fraud.”
City News Service contributed to this report.