Washington State releases adult dental RFP

The Washington State Health Care Authority released their RFP for adult dental services for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Responses are due June 29th with an initial proposed scope of work from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.  From the RFP:

As mandated by the Legislature in 2017, by passage of Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5883, Section 213(1)(c), the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) is initiating this Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals from Managed Care Entities (MCEs) interested in developing and implementing a Managed Care Dental Program for eligible Medicaid Clients beginning January 1, 2019.

HCA intends to award multiple contract(s), as needed, to provide the services described in this RFP.  Contracts will be awarded on a Regional Service Areas (RSAs) basis, identified in Attachment 3. The goal of the procurement is statewide managed care coverage. HCA prefers, but does not require, that MCEs submit bids for all RSAs.

Washington State Medicaid is broken up into nine Regional Service Areas.  Those RSAs allow for Medicaid procurement and contracting to include an increased local voice through accountable communities of health (ACH).  That additional administrative layer is intended to bring additional local accountability and input.  It also brings an additional level of complexity for potential respondents to this RFP.   Most respondents will be used to working at a statewide level, or with a population count comparable to the urban areas of the state.

With lower numbers of enrollees in rural areas, MCEs that don’t already have a footprint in those areas may find that newly engaging with ACHs and other community partners is a new level of complexity that they may not be used to.  Managed care health plans have been engaged in the ACH conversation since they first launched in 2014.  Dental carriers have been less active.  That is not to say oral health has not been represented. The Arcora Foundation has been very active across the state in each of the ACHs.  Arcora’s focus is oral health.