COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) says it completed its investigation into Dr. Moma's Health & Wellness Center, where thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses were confiscated in April. The investigation led to the official termination of Dr. Moma Health & Wellness center from the COVID vaccine program, according to CDPHE.
More than 7,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at the Colorado Springs clinic were deemed 'invalid' by state health leaders. Patients vaccinated there were told they needed to be revaccinated because the state couldn't determine if the vaccines administered were effective against COVID-19.
CDPHE told patients its investigation found several issues with Dr. Moma's Health & Wellness Center handling of vaccines including the failure to comply with the billing requirements outlined in the Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Agreement.
"Specifically, providers are prohibited from seeking reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient," CDPHE said in an email to patients.
Sylvienash Moma, the owner of the clinic previously told 13 Investigates that her clinic billed the insurance of patients showing up in their system as vaccinated, indicating the system may not have accounted for patients whose appointments were canceled. Moma says it was not her intention to bill for patients never vaccinated under her care.
CDPHE told patients today via email it found the Moma clinic also violated the CDC COVID-19 vaccination program in the following ways:
- Failure to store and handle COVID-19 vaccines under proper conditions, including maintaining cold chain conditions and chain of custody at all times in accordance with an FDA Emergency Use Authorization or vaccine package insert, manufacturer guidance, and CDC guidance in the Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. During the onsite observation of the Dr. Moma vaccination clinic on April 9, 2021, the clinic was unable to specify when Pfizer vials were punctured, the exact time of dilution, or how long the pre-drawn Pfizer syringes had been at room temperature. Once punctured, a Pfizer vial must be used within six hours.
- Failure to monitor storage unit temperatures at all times by using equipment and practices that comply with guidance in the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. Specifically, the clinic did not have a digital data logger in place to record storage unit temperatures.
- Failure to comply with CDPHE guidance for handling temperature excursions. According to the paper temperature log that the clinic supplied to CDPHE after the clinic was suspended from the program, there were several days in a row during which the recorded minimum temperatures of the clinic’s vaccine storage unit were out of range. These all constitute temperature excursions that a clinic must report to CDPHE immediately per CDPHE’s COVID-19 Temperature Excursion Policy. The clinic did not report these temperature excursions to CDPHE as required. Vaccines exposed to out of range temperatures can become non-viable and not protect individuals in the manner intended.
- Failure to comply with requirements for safe immunization services practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including not observing social distancing requirements or masking requirements within all areas of the clinic.
13 Investigates reached out to the clinic owner for comment. She told us she would share her story with us but has not yet responded to the allegations by CDPHE.
Our team has learned the Office of the Inspector General is conducting its own investigation into the Colorado Springs clinic related to the vaccine incident.
If you have a tip or lead you want our team to investigate, email us at 13Investigates@krdo.com.