Florida’s Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (“SMMC”) contracts are soon going to be re-bid. With approximately $70 billion on the line, competition for these new contracts will be fierce. On May 6, 2022, AHCA issued a Request for Information regarding the new SMMC contracts, and 58 entities responded. These responses can be found here.
AHCA has now published its Medicaid Data Book which provides relevant historical data and background information to potential contractors who wish to respond to AHCA’s upcoming Invitation to Negotiate (“ITN”). This Medicaid Data Book can be found here.
In addition to providing valuable information to prospective bidders, the Medicaid Data Book is an important prerequisite to the issuance of the ITN as it must be issued 90 days prior to issuance of the ITN. As the Medicaid Data Book was issued on November 22, 2022, the ITN is expected to be released sometime at the end of February or beginning of March, 2023.
Further, AHCA is holding a public meeting regarding the Medicaid Data Book on January 5, 2023. A copy of the agenda for that meeting can be found here.
Given what is at stake, bid protests over the award (and the specifications) are almost a given. While our article on bid protests covers this issue in more detail and can be found at http://smithlawtlh.com/bid-protests-know-your-rights-the-clock-is-ticking/, there are a few key things you should know about bid protests if you are considering bidding on the SMMC contracts.
The first issue is specification challenges. Specification challenges are challenges to the terms, conditions, or specifications contained in the solicitation (including any provisions governing the methods for ranking bids, awarding contracts, reserving rights for further negotiation, or modifying or amending any contract). If a potential bidder wished to make a specification challenge, a notice of protest must be filed within 72 hours after posting of the solicitation. Failure to timely file this notice of protest will result in waiving any challenges that the specifications were biased, unclear, or otherwise deficient.
The second issue arises after an award (or intended award) is posted. Any eligible person who wishes to challenge the award (or intended award) must file a notice of protest within 72 hours of the posting. These timelines, like the other timelines discussed in the linked article, are strict deadlines and failure to meet them will likely result in a waiver of your right to protest.
With billions of dollars at stake on these SMMC contracts, you should be preparing your response to the ITN with a bid protest in mind – both to defend your award if you win and to place yourself in a good position to challenge if you are unsuccessful.
If you need assistance preparing your ITN response or if you are considering a bid protest to either the specifications or award of the new SMMC contracts, the experienced legal counsel at Smith & Associates can help. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your rights