Signify Health's David Pierre delivers remarks during a news conference where U.S. President Donald Trump announced the declaration of a national emergency in reaction to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Signify Health by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Technology

The White House Asked Dallas-based Signify Health to Join the COVID-19 Task Force

The company's national network of providers and logistics expertise could be a key asset as screening and testing for COVID-19 ramp up.

Last Thursday night, Dallas-based Signify Health received a call from the White House, beginning a partnership that may make a major dent in the spread of COVID-19. The company was asked to join a task force with some of the largest retailers and healthcare companies in the country, sitting at a table with officials from CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, LabCorp, and Quest.

As the nation looks to ramp up testing, Signify is uniquely positions to aid that work. The company has several resources that could prove valuable if mass testing is to take place while the nation is sequestered away from large groups. Signify CEO Kyle Amrbrester told USA Today that the company has agreed to supply its network of providers to screen and test patients in their homes and at testing centers.

On any given day, Signify has more than 3,000 physicians and nurse practitioners that are at work in the homes of seniors, doing risk assessments for major payers on vulnerable populations. Each year, the company’s providers see 1.5 million Medicaid and Medicare patients. They pair that network with cutting edge logistics technology that guides them on efficient routes, which will save the federal government $800 million by the end of 2020 along with its episode-based payment models. The COO of Signify’s Home and Community Care Division David Pierre joined the White House task force with other large providers to address COVID-19 with the possibility of utilizing these resources in the effort to address the spread of the disease and scale up testing. “Through our network and our logistics engine, we stand ready to help and provide our clinicians to be where they’re needed, whether they’re in retail clinics or in the home. …We’re here to assist,” Pierre said via release.

Signify Health Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Goldstein (Courtesy Signify Health).

Right now, the company is engaged in dialogue about testing centers, and is making all of its resources available to the federal government. As the disease spreads, the national network could be essential to getting treatment and testing to harder to reach areas. Many of Signify’s providers have licenses in multiple states, increasing their ability to visit those that live near the border with another state, which could be critical as resources get stretched and screening expands. “Our physicians and nurse practitioners will be assisting the federal government with its national screening efforts,” says Signify Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Goldstein.

Signify also has about 600 employees in call centers that have experience dealing with the elderly and vulnerable populations. “All of those assets are kind of in the conversation right now with the government,” Goldstein says. “It’s going to be a few days before we have locked down what the solution is.”

Right now, Signify is meeting with White House officials twice a day, along with the other members of the task force, who are usually competitors but have been working together well, Goldstein says. “They are all business there’s no grandstanding. There’s no salesmanship. You’ve got a lot of fierce competitors on the phone, and there’s just a spirit of collaboration. Everybody’s there for the same reason.”

While the exact details of how Signify’s network and logistics expertise will be deployed by the federal government are still taking shape, one thing is for sure. “We are at the beginning of a service project for the benefit of the American people,” Goldstein wrote in a post this week. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re up for the challenge.”

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