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Topic: Provider Relations
Many of you and your teams are in the frantic, end-of-year trenches renegotiating current provider agreements or working on contracting new providers for a service area expansion, and it is easy to lose sight of all the changes swirling around the provider network arena. As we head into 2018, we would encourage you to incorporate these three key items into your Provider Network Management Department’s performance appraisal goals.
If the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) knocked on your door today, would you be ready to submit a compliant provider network within 60 days? CMS estimates the proposed three-year network adequacy review for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans would mean just that for approximately 304 MA plans for calendar year 2019.
A little section in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is bringing big changes to Medicare supplemental insurance, also known as Medigap, bought by more than 12 million seniors to help fill in the coverage holes in traditional Medicare. In the vast majority of cases, Medigap purchasers augment their coverage with a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). That means MACRA’s changes will cause a seismic event in senior markets – Medicare Advantage, Medigap insurers, and PDPs – nationally, starting now.
The summer sun is shining and vacation season is in full swing! While our Health Plan Network and Product teams are taking a few deep breaths after application and bid filing deadlines, we cannot rest on our laurels for very long. Summer is the best time to start planning your next service area expansion (SAE) or even your first step into the Medicare Advantage (MA) world. Maybe you are an established MA plan evaluating where to expand your geographic footprint. Maybe you are a Medicaid plan looking to expand into the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) arena and are wondering what it would take to have a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) so many of the MLTSS Requests for Proposal (RFPs) are expecting; or maybe you are an Accountable Care Organization looking to leverage your infrastructure and enter the payer world. Now is the perfect time to start planning for your 2018 and 2019 network needs. Regardless of the size and scope of the organization, your plan’s network adequacy and accessibility is a cornerstone of any new initiative. And, Plans need to be even more vigilant in managing their largest asset
I am continually amazed by how many health plans in Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicaid still cling to restrictive, “Dr. No”’90’s-style managed care practices like pre-authorizations, referrals, and concurrent review. With massive policy changes looming in Medicaid, and the influence of Star Ratings in MA greater than ever, health plans may soon have a gun to their heads: evolve medical management from restrictive to supportive, or die.
As we approach the holiday weekend, health plan Network and Product teams alike are breathing a sigh of relief after the fireworks that came along with this year’s network exception process, application, and bid filing deadlines.