Florida health care officials received 19 questions from managed care companies and interested parties regarding a request for information (RFI) including questions about the application of Florida’s “government in the sunshine laws” that mandate meetings be open, and documents made publicly available.
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) released a Medicaid request for information May 6 and gave interested parties until May 13 to submit to the agency any questions they may have about the RFI.
AHCA is expected to provide answers to the questions by May 20.
Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. submitted two questions to the state, according to a worksheet AHCA provided Florida Politics. One question was whether there was a required font size the agency wants vendors to use when replying to the RFI. The second question had to do with the timing of the releases of the responses to the RFI.
“Does AHCA intend to release RFI responses publicly following the submission due date? If so, please confirm if AHCA intends to release responses prior to the upcoming procurement of the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) Program, or if responses will be held for release until after the conclusion of the procurement.”
Simply Healthcare Plans currently has eight Medicaid managed care contracts with the state, according to information included on AHCA’s website.
West Cocoa Pharmacy and Compounding meanwhile asked whether the state would be “taking comments from the general public, providers and recipients” on the request for information that it released May 6.
Florida requires most of its Medicaid beneficiaries to enroll in managed care plans to receive their benefits. The managed care plans are tasked with providing all Medicaid covered services, with the exception of dental care. That makes the multiyear contracts, awarded on a competitively bid basis, the most lucrative in the state, worth tens of billions to the Medicaid managed care plans that submit winning bids.
The current contracts are set to expire at the end of 2023. The release of the RFI was the first step in what can be a lengthy procurement process.
Simply Healthcare Plans wasn’t the only managed care plan to submit questions to the state by the required May 13 deadline, according to the summary of questions that AHCA provided to Florida Politics Monday night.
Molina Healthcare, Inc. asked three questions including whether the agency would consider reviewing the performance bond requirements.
“It is our recommendation that ACHA only contract with financially stable and fully committed (managed care organizations) that can demonstrate the availability of capital resources necessary to administer the (statewide Medicaid managed care) program,” Molina wrote to AHCA, according to the document.
Molina Healthcare currently has two contracts with AHCA for the statewide Medicaid managed care program and also has contracts with AHCA in three regions to provide a plan that is designed for people with serious mental illness.
AmeriHealth Caritas submitted three technical questions. The managed care plans asked whether it could submit its answers to the RFI in a PDF file instead of a Word document and whether the file for the digital submission be named “BIDDER – FL MMC RFI Response.”
It also asked whether the 20-page limit in the RFI would apply to a cover letter that contains some of the information the agency requested in the RFI.
It currently has two Medicaid managed care contracts with the state to provide managed medical assistance.
Gateway Healthcare Solutions, a health care financing company, asked AHCA whether there was a benefit to responding to the RFI.
“If our RFI is accepted and we’re able to present, do we receive additional points towards the (request for proposal) that will later be advertised?” Gateway asked, according to the questions summary.