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Records: Doctor used wrong test to clear patients of COVID

July 5, 2021 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee doctor used the wrong test to clear at least two patients of the coronavirus, according to discipline allegations before the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners.

Dr. Michael LaPaglia, 49, used rapid blood test kits that can detect antibodies from a previous infection but aren’t reliable in checking for a current infection, according to the allegations brought by the Department of Health and reported by The Tennessean from information obtained in a public records request.

Records say the improper testing occurred in November and December of 2020 while LaPaglia operated a concierge medical company called Elite HealthCare offering in-home coronavirus antibody testing. Both people requested testing and LaPaglia used a rapid antibody test and then cleared both of infection even though he “knew or should have known” the tests did not work that way, records state.

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The allegations could result in LaPaglia losing his medical license, which is already on probation. He previously admitted to writing fraudulent opioid prescriptions and his license was suspended in 2018 but reinstated the following year.

LaPaglia’s attorney, Garrett Asher, declined to comment to the newspaper.