SAN DIEGO (CN) - Boston Reed, a profit-seeking chain college advertising the "most advanced health care training at the lowest available price" does not teach students basic skills required to be a clinical medical assistant, a class claims in court.
Angela Clark sued Boston Reed Co. on charges of false advertising, unfair competition and negligent misrepresentation.
Boston Reed offers 10 classroom programs and six online programs, including pharmacy technician, clinical medical assistant, dental assistant and massage therapist.
The private school, which has more than 60 outlets in California, advertises its programs as costing $2,750 to $3,045 - as little as one-tenth the cost of competitors' tuition, according to the lawsuit.
"In addition, Boston Reed highlights the brevity of its course work, telling students they can '[g]et trained in as little as 5 months,' allegedly with sufficient 'hands-on training to get you working fast,'" according to the complaint.
Clark claims she paid $2,845 to enroll in the Boston Reed Clinical Medical Assistant program, which the school promised would give her the skills to pass certification exams and get a job.
But she claims she "was not taught, nor did she learn, the skill of venipuncture for the purposes of drawing blood, in addition to other core competencies. Angela Clark completed the CMA program, found an externship for herself, and started to work as a clinical medical assistant extern. Within a few days of her externship, Angela Clark was told she did not have the skill set to work as a clinical medical assistant because she did not know how to draw blood," according to the complaint.
When Clark called Boston Reed to ask why it did not teach her venipuncture, the school told her it was not a skill set for medical assistants, but that she could take a separate class - for $525 - to learn the skill, Clark says.
The California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants requires that applicants who wish to be certified as a medical assistant with a clinical specialty provide proof of training in venipuncture, which should be provided by the medical assisting program from which they graduated, according to the complaint.
But Boston Reed program "does not train students at all, much less to the required minimum training standards, to draw blood through venipuncture," Clark says in the lawsuit.
Yet Boston Reed advertises itself as a "comprehensive program" that provides "certification, competency and preparation," according to the complaint.
Clark seeks damages and punitive damages for false advertising, unfair competition, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and wants Boston Reed enjoined from advertising its clinical medical assistant program as comprehensive.
Her lead counsel is Abbas Kazerounian, of Costa Mesa.
On its home web page, checked this morning, Boston Reed claims to have 124 outlets nationwide, "all programs $3,995 or less."
Also on its home page, Boston Reed claims it is "certified, approved or accredited" by the Better Business Bureau.