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Happy end of summer Monday, Health Techies. We’re late, but you’ll soon understand why.

Situational awareness: NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said Monday that he plans to retire from public service in December. Fauci has been the leader since 1984 and has risen to prominence during the pandemic. Go further.

Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

Amazon, CVS, Healthcare Option and United Health are among reported bidders for Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY), a Dallas-based healthcare company that could make up to $8 billion, Sarah and Erin write.

Why is this important: After emerging as a healthcare player for the past few years, the new reports – combined with Amazon’s recent One Medical purchase – cement the tech giant as a major healthcare M&A player.

  • Amazon’s proposed deal with ONEM would give it big reach — helping it build its expertise in consumer preferences, expand existing efforts in primary care and gain a foothold in Medicare Advantage.

Yes and: Amazon has already made strides in value-based care via its failed cost-cutting venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway.

Yes, but: Amazon’s potential bid for Signify could also give antitrust regulators new avenues to pursue — and the retail giant is already fending off the FTC with its proposed acquisition of Roomba.

  • Speaking of which, while UNH is a prolific purchaser of healthcare, its ongoing antitrust lawsuit over its proposed merger with Change Healthcare casts a cloud over a potential deal with Signify.

To note : Sources say private equity also circled Signify, but many financial sponsors were shut out of the process, even at high valuation levels.

  • Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are advising Signify on the process, Axios previously reported.

How (Signify) works: The company helps health systems and health plans transition to VBC agreements by creating risk contracts where it shares both upside and downside risk.

By the numbers: New Mountain Capital owns a 54.7% stake in Signify and the company has a reported market value of $5 billion, according to the WSJ yesterday.

  • Shares of Signify jumped more than 39% on Monday morning on the latest reports.

Rollback: Last year, Signify raised $564 million in its IPO.

Main threat level: Amazon already has access to about 44% of US residents through Prime, according to a recent Trilliant Health report.

  • By comparison, the nation’s largest healthcare system is HCA, which serves just 1% of Americans.
  • “No health system can match Amazon’s scale in terms of next interaction,” Hal Andrews, president and CEO of Trilliant Health, previously told Axios.

Between the lines: Signify would give Amazon access to another clinical network alongside the one it gains with One Medical — plus a bunch of additional data from what Signify gathers to identify and prioritize patients who need care.

  • “Amazon’s interest appears to be in Signify’s clinical network and data,” Cowen analysts Gary Taylor, Charles Rhyee and others write in a Monday note.

The plot: As revealed in a recent SEC filing, Amazon had previously indicated that it would end conversations with One Medical if its interest were disclosed. Does it care this time? To be determined.

💭 Our thought bubble: Now that Amazon has set its foot in healthcare with ONEM, we suspect the retail healthcare giant may be considering buying a TPA in an effort to enter the health insurance market ( especially after Haven failed to take off).

  • Independent TPAs ​​include players such as VC-backed Collective Health and large-scale PE-backed players such as New Mountain’s HealthComp and Water Street Capital’s EMBS.
  • “They don’t need it to be a big [TPA] – they can make it evolve themselves”, tells us a banker in the sector. “They have to pay for the know-how.