COVID-19 response interview with Paul Hencoski

Observations across clients on how to better reopen and stay open, notably around policies, organizational change management and communication

Paul Hencoski

Paul Hencoski

Principal, Advisory, KPMG US

+1 212-872-3131

In response to COVID-19, Paul Hencoski, Health and Government Solutions leader, has been instrumental in designing the KPMG Restarting America approach, a risk-based framework that is designed to help clients manage workforce and workplace issues and understand the technology that can help manage the challenges of COVID-19. He has also been on the frontlines with our government and commercial healthcare sector clients. We want to share Paul’s views of recent developments in testing, contact tracing and vaccine management.

Q. In response to COVID-19, KPMG developed a framework to help clients manage workforce and workplace issues. Can you outline the key points of KPMG’s risk framework, which helps clients develop guidelines to reopen and stay open?

A. KPMG developed a comprehensive approach including a data-driven risk framework, enabling technology platform, and toolkit of services and capabilities to help our clients “restart” and effectively manage both the initial response to the pandemic and ongoing operations, in order to maintain as much normalcy as practical during these challenging times. The risk framework is really focused on helping clients efficiently identifying those individuals who may present a higher risk of transmitting the virus to others, considering things like their potential exposure, symptoms and other potential factors. The enabling technology solutions, which can be implemented on a number of technical platforms, allow the efficient implementation and on-going management of an organization’s restart policy.

Q. What COVID-19 related needs are you seeing with clients and how are we helping clients through this challenging time?

A. Our clients are focused on returning to, and maintaining, “normal” operations as much as they can while managing the ongoing risks the virus presents to the individuals in their organization, such as employees, customers, students, etc. This includes establishment of their policies, organizational change management and communication, mobile apps and other enabling technologies, data and analytics, contact tracing, testing programs and protocols, and now vaccine management, which has become an important issue. 

KPMG is helping our clients with these and other needs, and we are proud of the success we have achieved with our clients. This includes assistance with implementation of contact tracing programs for major counties that have a greater than 90 percent success rate, help major sports leagues and University sports programs operate with fans in attendance! In addition, we are very proud of our work with the Morehouse School of Medicine on its CDC-funded initiative to develop and implement targeted strategies to address the needs of traditionally under-represented populations, which have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Q. Our alliance partners are providing real solutions to today’s challenges to help employers leverage technology to respond quickly to the pandemic. As a result, our clients are accelerating their digital plans. Can you share some of the most exciting developments you are seeing?

A. Understanding that our clients leverage a variety of technology platforms, KPMG designed our enabling solutions such that they can be implemented on most platforms the client has already implemented. This includes implementations using tools from Microsoft, ServiceNow, Appian, and others. We are very excited about Salesforce’s announcement of for Vaccines, and we will be leveraging this capability within our Restarting America offerings. We are quite proud of the partnership we have received from these alliances, are thrilled that many have included KPMG thinking in their solutions, and pleased at how the industry has come together to collaborate to meet our clients’ needs.

Q. As our clients are looking to manage vaccine programs on scale, Salesforce's for Vaccines presents interesting capabilities to help our clients stay better informed. As a vaccine is yet to materialize, can you help clients shape their thinking so they are ready to respond? What should they be doing now?

A. KPMG is currently working with clients across the eco-system including our provider and retail healthcare clients, private employers, federal government, and state and local government agencies as they plan for the availability of a vaccine, hopefully in the coming months. Currently states are required to submit plans in mid-October to the federal government on how they will manage the vaccine supply chain and distribution within their jurisdictions. There are many unknowns at this time which make this task difficult, such as the particulars of the vaccine that will be available first, including when it will be available, how many doses it will take, what sort of storage requirements will it have, etc. As a result, we have been advising our clients to scenario plan for the more likely scenarios and also begin work now to optimize the supply chain leveraging existing provider and commercial retail care delivery channels, and recognize the potential need for expanded government operated “clinics” to help augment existing delivery capacity. In addition, integration of vaccine management programs with existing contact tracing and testing capabilities will be critical for continuing to manage the virus until it is controlled to a level that is less of a threat. We believe that states in particular should consider implementation of a case management capability that seamlessly integrates these important disease management disciplines.