Elizabeth Holmes is set to testify before Congress. Here are five things to watch for

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos and a major character in the clinical trial cheating scandal, is set to appear in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday.

The committee is already investigating the company’s fall from grace, along with the accusations that Holmes took at least $125 million from investors without telling them she had improperly collected blood tests from faulty tubes.

Holmes, who testified on Tuesday, will resume her testimony on Wednesday. Here are some things to watch for:


Holmes’ defense team took its best shot on Tuesday, during Holmes’ testimony. It included a litany of blood pressure tests taken from Holmes, held by the panel. (During a past congressional hearing, Democratic lawmakers questioned whether similar blood pressure tests that Holmes had taken were valid.)

Much of the argument centered on former HHS secretary Tommy Thompson’s testimony that Theranos was performing the same blood tests at significant levels of inaccuracy, making it virtually impossible for the company to claim a quality bar was met and claiming that a “post hoc review,” or an examination of the data taken during the normal course of the testing, is necessary to make the results “accurate.”

But all that did was draw Holmes and others to claims of a “skewed” test. From medical journals to media reports, Holmes alleged that Theranos claimed it would be able to perform the same blood tests at a level of accuracy that couldn’t be achieved by existing competitors.

A look behind the battle over Theranos’ accuracy can be read here.


Theranos was supposed to revolutionize health care, but little of its product existed. In April, after a slew of revelations about security breaches and irregularities, Theranos announced it was shutting down all of its lab operations. The company claims this is a legitimate rehabilitation process, but investors have demanded that Holmes testify this week.

Holmes admits to developing Theranos’ technology for decades, but has no relevant experience in biomedical testing, so she’s asking Congress to reinstate her as the company’s chief executive officer and take over its efforts. (In a private email to a former employee, Holmes made it clear that Holmes shouldn’t have to defend her credentials, saying, “I’ve got a degree from MIT. I have a Ph.D. from Stanford.”)


Dennis Miller, the former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will testify later on Wednesday. Miller served as President Obama’s top official overseeing the nursing home industry, and was responsible for ensuring that nursing homes provided the proper treatment to their patients.

After two investigations uncovered widespread flaws at nursing homes, Miller declared a “blowout.” Since his resignation from the Trump administration, CMS has continued to struggle with providing adequate oversight to the nursing home industry, has come under heavy fire from Republicans for not pushing for tighter regulation in federal programs for nursing homes, and also has commissioned an independent investigation into its failings.

And Miller’s testimony is expected to focus on the department’s failure to address such deficiencies.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Elizabeth Holmes’ interview with Katie Couric took place in 2011. In fact, it was filmed in 2016.

Related Video 1:47 CBS 5: Inside Theranos and the San Francisco lab that busted it

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