Correcting the Record on Nomi Health’s Engagement with Tennessee
The importance of accurate and complete healthcare journalism is uniquely critical during this unprecedented pandemic. Nomi Health has worked across the country for months to enable states to stand up effective, efficient and quality COVID-19 testing programs to open access to testing to as many Americans as possible across more than 300 testing sites nationwide.
That’s why we need to address the recent erroneous reporting regarding Nomi’s brief partnership with the State of Tennessee.
FALSE: Nomi was in breach of contract.
TRUTH: Nomi was in no way, shape or form in breach of contract with the State of Tennessee. Because there was truly no breach of contract, the State revoked their erroneous termination of contract notice in a letter to Nomi on June 17.
As Commissioner Piercey stated in her recent testimony, the contract actually allowed for Nomi to charge the State $18M because they were not in breach of contract, but Nomi elected not to given the circumstances of the pandemic and only charged for services rendered.
FALSE: The tests Nomi delivered were faulty.
TRUTH: The 100,000 FDA-authorized test kits delivered were not faulty, and have been validated and used successfully in multiple states across the country. The same goes for the medical grade PPE sent to the state. The FDA-authorized tests Nomi delivered perform at, or better, than their FDA-approved EUA for limit of detection and above other efficacy and accuracy measurements.
While Tennessee decided it did not meet their specific levels, the tests — which are manufactured by Co-Diagnostics, not Nomi — are FDA-authorized for use in COVID-19 testing and are being used successfully across the country and around the world. In Tennessee’s and Dr. Piercey’s own words during her recent public testimony — “The PPE is still in our warehouse, so are the test kits…To my knowledge, there’s nothing wrong with the test kits” and again “that was at a time when swabs and reagent and tubes and transport media were exceedingly difficult to come by so, and theirs were proper standards on that” — every single thing Nomi Health delivered met all federal guidelines for quality and accuracy. It’s unfortunate that the State of Tennessee has decided to leave perfectly good COVID-19 tests sitting unused in a warehouse as we speak. As for taking the tests back, medical equipment best practices preclude this to maintain quality and integrity in the chain of custody.
FALSE: The PPE Nomi supplied within the contract was for veterinary needs and not suitable for COVID-19 testing.
TRUTH: First and foremost, Nomi delivered medical grade supplies as defined in the contract. The veterinary PPE supplies — treasured PPE at a time during which medical professionals were using trash bags as PPE — were delivered by Nomi as an add-on at $0 cost to the State of Tennessee to supplement and extend the life of the core PPE. Nomi supplied them for use as additive sleeves at the request of nurses in the field for additional safety and ease of use. It’s unfortunate that these are sitting unused in a warehouse as we speak.
FALSE: The $5.9 million payment to Nomi was a fee to get out of the contract.
TRUTH: The $5.9 million payment was in no way, shape or form to get out of the contract, but for goods and services Nomi legitimately delivered over a 2 month period. These include more than 100,000 FDA EUA test kits, lab materials and machines, construction of temporary lab work rooms, software, technology, staffing and training, testing site set up and medical-grade PPE supplies to support front-line sample collection teams involved in the program. Our teams were also on the ground routinely and worked day in and day out, supporting the State’s COVID-19 response. Taxpayers in Tennessee should be asking why the state is leaving federally approved and authorized supplies to collect dust during a pandemic, especially as their state faces a 79% uptick in COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days. In Dr. Piercey’s own testimony, “They only held us liable for the goods and services already rendered.”
FALSE: Based on media reports, Nomi’s accuracy and quality should be called into question.
TRUTH: No stated concern around Nomi’s testing programs has materialized to this very day, which is why Nomi’s contracts have been renewed in every state in which we work and why we continue to successfully serve the COVID-19 response needs of communities nationwide.
We are proud of our work nationally every day. We deliver every component of effective public and private testing programs that an organization needs to be successful, from antigen and PCR testing to teams and technology to efficient results reporting. Nomi has invested in continuously improving the quality of our programs and we are honored to serve communities nationwide in this critical pandemic response. Nomi Health was honored to serve the State of Tennessee. As strategies and priorities evolved in Tennessee, it did not make sense to continue working together. Inventing solutions to new problems is always challenging, iterative, and collaborative. This is especially true when the new problem is a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. Monday morning quarterbacking as the pandemic is killing Americans at record rates is uniquely unhelpful, especially when not grounded in a clear presentation of the facts.
We wish the Tennessee government, healthcare system, and most importantly citizens the best as the second wave continues to cause soaring cases and deaths across the country. And we applaud the work of Governor Lee and the Health Department as they continue to courageously work to implement programs that have the best chance to serve and protect the citizens of Tennessee.