Concord Health Firm Investigated For Illegal Medical Testing
A Concord occupational health firm is under investigation for allegedly hiring unlicensed employees to draw blood and perform other medical tests on "hundreds" of Bay Area workers, the Contra Costa Times reports. According to State Deputy Attorney General Jose Guerrero, employees of Industrial On-Site Medics performed "sensitive medical procedures such as drawing blood for lead contamination tests and administering respiratory tests without proper supervision or certification" (Chang, Contra Costa Times, 2/14). California occupational health laws require workers to be tested for elevated blood levels of lead, and such tests must be administered by a physician or by a health worker under the direct supervision of a physician, according to state officials. The 15-person firm is staffed mostly by former paramedics, who performed tests without direct supervision, the injunction states (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/15). The Times reports that the investigation "marks the first time in recent memory the state's occupational lead poisoning prevention program has initiated such an inquiry into a private company." State lead poisoning prevention program Chief Barbara Materna said "[d]ozens of painters and other industrial workers may have developed lead poisoning symptoms ... because [On-Site] employees did not properly analyze blood tests." On-Site President Virginia Siegel denies any wrongdoing. The company could face damages of up to $2,500 per violation, which could amount to "millions of dollars" (Contra Costa Times, 2/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.