AHCA Has Released the SMMC ITN

AHCA has now released the Invitation to Negotiate (“ITN”) for the new Statewide Medicaid Managed Care contracts. Importantly, AHCA has set the following key deadlines:

  • Deadline for receipt of written questions is May 3, 2023.
  • The anticipated date for Agency responses to written questions is June 27, 2023.
  • Deadline for receipt of responses to the ITN is 12:00 p.m. August 15, 2023.

While review of the ITN is still ongoing, there are some key details to the proposed contracts that AHCA intends to award that stand out. The first is that AHCA intends to award contracts to “nationally accredited plans that offer an enhanced delivery systems and integration of behavioral and physical health services.” This focus on behavioral health services will provide significant benefits to enrollees and will provide a competitive advantage to prospective bidders who already have integrated behavioral health programs.

Additionally, AHCA has introduced what it calls “plus plans.” These plans are designed to allow family members to receive their services from a Medicaid managed care single plan that provides Managed Medical Assistance (“MMA”), Long Term Care (“LTC”), and specialty plans. According to the ITN, “[e]nrollees will no longer need to change plans to access specialty population services, split families up among multiple plans or choose between accessing Specialty plans.”

The ITN requires that providers that wish to provide LTC services must submit proposals that have them acting either as a comprehensive long term care plan, a comprehensive long term care-plus plan, or a selected comprehensive plan. MMA providers will be required to act either as a comprehensive LTC plan, a comprehensive LTC-plus plan, a MMA plan, or a MMA-plus plan. Finally, providers bidding on specialty services will be required to serve as a comprehensive LTC-plus plan or a MMA-plus plan.

Finally, due to legislative changes, AHCA will be able to award these contracts on either a statewide or regional basis. It should also be noted that this same legislative change also reduced the number of Medicaid regions from 11 to 9.

This is the third time that AHCA has bid these contracts. The prior two bids led to significant bid protests over who should be awarded these contracts. For more information on protesting an ITN award, please see our article Bid Protest – Know your Rights, the Clock is Ticking. With tens of billions of dollars at stake, it is likely that this will happen again. Should you decide to submit a bid, you should prepare your response with a protest in mind – making sure that all the ITN requirements are met and arranged in proper form. If you need assistance preparing your ITN response or have questions about the ITN, please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.