LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Some in West Louisville claim a makeshift DNA clinic popped up in their neighborhood Monday.
In April, WAVE 3 News could never get clear answers why a group was giving out cash for DNA around the Metro. Monday, a man who confronted the roadside swabbers said they were offering a different incentive this time.
“Are these watches free?” R’chard Jackson said, describing his encounter after seeing smart watches laid out on a table. “Naw, they’re free to anybody who does this testing.”
Jackson said he called the police because he felt what they were saying didn’t add up.
“Brochures and the fliers that he gave me didn’t match up,” Jackson said.
Neighbors watched as several police cars surrounded a white van near 27th and West Broadway around 3 p.m.
Jackson said he runs a genetic screening company himself, called MedVantage Consulting.
He said operators need to be HIPPA-certified to do that type of work, showing us his certification, which he keeps on a badge strapped to his waist.
Jackson said he began questioning the handful of people out swabbing Monday to see if they had their paperwork in order.
“She said, ‘I have it somewhere,’” Jackson said, describing the encounter. “I let her know this is supposed to be right here.”
He said, then, he was told to talk to the group’s leader, who didn’t show him the documents he was asking about, but instead got upset with him.
Jackson said a woman, who was about to get tested, told him she left after she saw how the workers responded to the question.
LMPD said no arrests, citations or reports were generated from an encounter in the area, but people just a block away said they’re still waiting for results promised to them by a roadside DNA clinic months ago.
“They gave us $20 and said we’ll get the results in the mail,” a woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said. “It’s been three or four months ago, and I haven’t still heard anything.”
Jackson said he’s not sure what intentions the group has, but is concerned that a lack of transparency could hurt his business and produce deadly effects.
“Instead of a person that could’ve potentially had their life saved from having to worry about cancer, now, they don’t want to deal with it,” Jackson said.
While no arrests or citations were given by police, the people they spoke to did leave the area after talking to them.
In April, WAVE 3 News reported on a group traveling around Louisville’s minority communities, collecting mouth swabs in exchange for $20. An unmarked white van was spotted in several different locations.
At one stop, the group identified themselves to a couple of WAVE 3 News producers as employees from “Freedom Health,” and said only people on Passport could participate in what they called a cancer screening program.
Passport said the group isn’t affiliated with them, and WAVE 3 News’ calls to the number the group provided went unanswered.
After that report aired, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office issued a warning asking anyone who provided insurance information to call the Medicaid Fraud Hotline to ensure they weren’t billed for bogus services.