Two Chicago-based COVID-19 testing companies are now under investigation by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Attorney General after customer complaints alleged long-delayed results and other misconduct.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office said it has received dozens of complaints surrounding testing companies Northshore Clinical Labs and O’Hare Clinical Labs. Most of the complaints allege long wait times for results or no results at all.
Delays and Misconduct Allegations
O’Hare Clinical Labs customer Eliana Whitecomb told NBC 5 Chicago she never received proof of her positive test results after visiting the company’s Naperville location.
“He just turns around and was like ‘OK positive,’” Whitecomb told NBC 5. “That was it. No one said anything else to me. I never got my results back.”
An NBC 5 Responds investigation found O’Hare Clinical Labs has received $187 million in taxpayer dollars as reimbursement for testing uninsured patients.
Northshore Clinical Labs customer Chloe Tschudy told ABC 7 Chicago it took 12 days to receive her COVID-19 PCR test results from one of the company’s pop-up sites.
“I think that the point of getting tested and getting your answers within a certain time period is to keep not only yourself safe, but family, friends, co-workers,” Tschudy told ABC 7.
O’Hare Clinical Labs said in a statement reported by NBC 5 the Omicron surge is to blame for the long wait times. “Many of our staff were out sick with COVID and so we were not able to provide our customers with the quick and reliable results they expect and deserve,” the company said.
The company closed all locations last weekend to train staff and opened its doors again Monday.
Northshore Clinical Labs said on its website it has terminated all third-party pop-up COVID-19 testing site operations, “while we focus on improving processing and PCR result times during this period of extraordinarily high demand.”
The company added that it will continue to support schools, nursing homes, and other senior living providers, and operate its own clinics.
Similar Complaints Elsewhere
These two companies aren’t the first to be the subject of investigations and complaints. The Rolling Meadows-based Center for COVID Control (CCC) and its affiliated lab vendor Doctors Clinical Laboratory are under several state and federal investigations over allegations of missing test results and other malpractice. CCC agreed to close all its Illinois locations indefinitely.
Both O’Hare Clinical Labs and NorthShore Clinical Labs have ‘F’ ratings with the Better Business Bureau. They are among a dozen different testing companies that have been the subject of complaints to the BBB just in the Chicago area, according to ABC 7.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office on Friday encouraged people to look for state-sponsored COVID-19 testing sites and said pop up testing sites are not government regulated.
Northshore Clinical Labs is not associated with NorthShore University HealthSystem, and O’Hare Clinical Labs has no association with the airport.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.
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