EDITOR’S NOTE: This web page is a information to USA TODAY’s monthslong investigation of Utah-based Nomi Well being, the no-bid contracts it obtained, and questions that officers raised over its testing accuracy and marketing campaign contributions.
In early 2020, practically nobody outdoors of Silicon Slopes, a well-connected, influential enterprise group in Salt Lake Metropolis, had ever heard of Nomi Well being. But because the COVID-19 pandemic endangered the lives of Individuals and threatened to crater the financial system, the startup quickly turned a family identify in Utah and several other different Republican-controlled states because it oversaw large testing packages.
USA TODAY has since March been investigating the corporate.
In 2019, Utah entrepreneur Mark Newman based Nomi Well being, which he stated obtained its identify from “No Middleman Well beingcare.” He beforehand created an on-demand video interviewing service, and Nomi was part of four politically well-connected Utah firms that got here collectively because the COVID-19 pandemic worsened in March 2020. Nomi primarily would act as a normal contractor for the enterprise, organising testing websites, hiring nurses and employees, and buying testing tools.
Nomi would use COVID-19 checks equipped by Co-Diagnostics, a molecular testing company that had “no main prospects” in 2019, in response to the corporate’s annual report. Rounding out the Utah crew had been two software program companies – Domo and Qualtrics – that supplied digital dashboards and check surveys.
In a month – March 31 to Could 1, 2020 – Nomi had signed no-bid contracts in 4 states, and would later win extra state contracts by means of the standard aggressive procurement course of. By the time Florida got here on board a 12 months later, taxpayers in these states would pay Nomi a collective $219 million, the data present.
Tennessee’s Well being Division reported that Nomi Health’s testing results were “inconsistent,” and it spent practically $6 million to drag out of its contract with the corporate about 45 days after signing on. Nomi officers stated the cash was paid for providers supplied. USA TODAY discovered that the Tennessee Public Well being Laboratory had concluded the state had “no confidence” that the testing would “present dependable and reproductive outcomes.” Additional, the state “fairly decided” that the actions of Nomi and its subcontractors “have brought about, or fairly might trigger, life, well being, or security to be jeopardized.” Nomi officers did not say whether or not they disclosed the report back to the opposite states regardless of a number of makes an attempt from USA TODAY to get them to reply the query. Nomi stated its checks carried out the means they’re presupposed to.
Shortly after Tennessee’s well being division agreed to a $26.5 million no-bid contract with Nomi, the corporate despatched private protecting tools to the state. One well being official had hoped to obtain 1000’s of robe sleeves, masks and disinfectant for front-line medical staff. As a substitute, Nomi sent thousands of pink bovine insemination gloves, wipes labeled “for veterinary use” that did not kill the COVID-19 virus, and low-quality face masks, the official stated. Tennessee ended its contract early and paid Nomi practically $6 million. The state additionally stated Nomi failed to offer appropriate lab equipment and private protecting tools “free from materials defect.” Newman, Nomi’s chief government, did not dispute that Tennessee obtained bovine gloves, saying they had been a complement to different, applicable provides.
After Republican governors gave profitable, no-bid COVID-19 offers to Nomi, the corporate and a subcontractor, Domo, gave more than $1 million to GOP campaigns, with six-figure contributions going to the Republican Governors Affiliation and five-figure contributions going to state GOP campaigns. A few of the largest contributions went to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, whose administration gave Nomi contracts that totaled $46.5 million from February to June 2021. As Nomi Health has expanded in Hawaii, the corporate, its chief government and others related to the Utah enterprise have donated the utmost quantity, or close to the authorized restrict, to Democratic campaigns within the politically blue state.
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