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Medicaid Announces Next Generation of Managed Care Organizations

Client Alert

For the first time since 2005, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) made significant changes to the structure of the Medicaid program by finalizing the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process. The Procurement process began in 2019 at the behest of Governor Mike DeWine who had a goal to make Medicaid managed care more focused on the health and well-being of individuals.

According to ODM, the guiding principles for the next generation of managed care are a commitment to:

  • Improve wellness and health outcomes.
  • Emphasize a personalized care experience.
  • Improve care for children and adults with complex needs.
  • Reduce administrative burdens to give providers more time with patient care.
  • Increase program transparency and accountability.

On April 9, 2021, ODM announced the six MCOs selected for the next generation of the managed care program: 

  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio, Inc.
  • Humana Health Plan of Ohio, Inc.
  • Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.
  • AmeriHealth Caritas Ohio, Inc.
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • CareSource Ohio, Inc.

Ohio Medicaid also announced that it is deferring for additional consideration its decision related to Buckeye Community Health Plan.

The selected MCOs will now be required to emphasize plan coordination with OhioRISE and the single pharmacy benefit manager (SPBM), also recently announced by ODM. The MCOs will also assist with initiatives such as centralized credentialing and work with a fiscal intermediary to streamline administrative functions and reduce duplicative processes for providers.

Current managed care plan members will continue to receive services with their existing plans until the transitions in early 2022. There should be no lapse in coverage. Members can also choose to select a new plan late this summer during an open enrollment period that has yet to be determined.

Additional Procurement Announcements

OhioRISE

ODM selected Aetna Better Health of Ohio to serve as the specialized managed care organization children with the most complex behavioral health needs under the new OhioRISE (Ohio Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence) program. Aetna will work with ODM and Governor DeWine’s Family and Children First Cabinet Council to implement a child and family-centric model featuring new targeted services and intensive care coordination delivered by community partners. Aetna also will coordinate with state and local organizers to expand access to in-home and community-based services for OhioRISE members and their families.   

Single Pharmacy Benefit Manager (SPBM)

ODM selected Gainwell Technologies to be the agency’s SPBM. ODM’s stated goal in contracting with one PBM is to realize greater transparency and accountability in Medicaid’s $3 billion pharmacy program. According to ODM, for Medicaid managed care members, the SPBM will mean less out-of-network restrictions and more choice in pharmacy. For providers, the goal is that the SPBM should also streamline clinical and prior authorization processes and provide a standard point of contact for administrative needs.

Fiscal Intermediary (FI)

ODM also awarded its FI service contract to Gainwell Technologies. The FI create a system to serve as a single clearinghouse for all provider claims and prior authorization requests, validating transactions and routing requests to the appropriate MCO for resolution and reimbursement. In addition, the FI will assist ODM in assessing compliance with Medicaid managed care regulations, review encounter data, and track performance measures. The separate FI system is new for Ohio, and providers and MCOs alike are anxiously waiting to see how the process works in reality.

For questions about the Procurement process or Medicaid generally, please reach out to the healthcare attorneys at Brennan, Manna & Diamond and check back on the Resources page for more information following the Procurement announcement.


Valley National Bank/Trulieve Loan: A Big Step Out of the Shadows

In a late December press release, Trulieve announced that it had secured a $71.5 million commercial bank loan. In addition to the amount of the loan, which may be the largest commercial bank loan to date to a cannabis company, the release prominently identified Valley Bank and featured both a quote from Valley’s Senior Vice President, John Myers, and a description of the Bank’s service platform and commitment to the cannabis industry.

The End of Non-Competes? The Impact It Will Have on the Healthcare Industry

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed rule that, if enacted, will ban employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers (the “Rule”), and the Rule would void existing non-compete agreements. In their Notice, the FTC stated that if the Rule were to go into effect, they estimate the overall earnings of employees in the United States could increase by $250 billion to $296 billion per year. The Rule would also require employers to rescind non-competes that they had already entered into with their workers. For purposes of the Rule, the FTC has defined “worker” to also include any employees, interns, volunteers, and contractors.”

2022 Healthcare Recap and 2023 Healthcare Check-Up

As the country begins to return to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many healthcare rules changing on both the federal and state levels as a result. Thus, it is important for healthcare providers and their employers to be aware of these changing rules, and any implications they may have on their practice. Look back on healthcare in 2022 and find a checklist for 2023.

Direct Support Professional Retention Payments

On December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed House Bill 45, which authorizes the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), in conjunction with the county boards of developmental disabilities, to launch their initiative to issue retention payments to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These retention payments will be distributed quarterly to participating home and community-based waiver providers to address the workforce crisis in the direct provider sector. Governor DeWine needs to sign the Bill to begin the payments, but he is expected to do so by the end of 2022.

Real Estate Investors Position for 2023 Opportunities

Real estate investors weathered another year in a post-pandemic world, with the year closing with yet another interest rate increase coupled with both uncertainty and heightened interest carrying into 2023. Just last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate 0.50 percentage points, shifting the target range to 4.25% to 4.50%. The new level is the highest the fed funds rate has been since December 2007 and marks the seventh rate hike this year. So what does this mean to investors, brokers, lenders, and others in the real estate world? Read a few perspectives below from stakeholders familiar with our BMD clients and the markets in which they do business.