The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is currently seeking a contractor to update and expand the Minimum Data Set (MDS) Manager for long term care services in the state. MHCC released a request for proposals (RFP) earlier this month for a five-year contract award.
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MHCC uses the MDS Manager to calculate length of stays in nursing facilities based on a resident’s age and other variables. CMS data, as well as MHCC’s Long Term Care Survey, supplement the manager.
Improving the state’s long term care services is essential. Data from Maryland’s 2022-2025 State Plan on Aging predicts state residents age 60+ will increase by as much as 34% by 2045. The report also emphasized the impact of the Covid pandemic on senior care, with widespread workforce shortages and loss of community programs.
In a previous conversation with State of Reform, MHCC Executive Director Ben Steffen detailed the need for better data incorporation in public health services. One benefit he saw was the creation of creating real-time data that is easily accessible by patients, providers, and other stakeholders in response to major public health crises, such as the pandemic.
With an improved MDS Manager, the contractor will work with MHCC to develop the State Health Plan for health facility services, facilitating the transfer of nursing home residents to home and community-based settings, and developing Certificates of Need prior to the establishment or expansion of certain long term care services.
The RFP outlines specific requirements for the preferred contractor:
“The Offeror shall have five (5) consecutive years working experience in the interpreting, extracting and analysis of Medicaid data, Minimum Data Set (MDS) data, and other long term care data in response to health policy issues.”
In terms of personnel, the contract would include at minimum a project manager, MDS consultant, and two programmers.
The RFP also lays out a timetable of the contractor’s duties once selected to work with MHCC. This includes developing a workplan within 30 days of the contract’s commencement, conducting bi-weekly meetings with MHCC staff, and providing informational updates and recommendations on various long term care policies by specified deadlines in the RFP.
The contract award will consist partly of a fixed amount under the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), as well as unit prices for labor hours and consulting services.
Offerors will have until June 3rd, 2022 to send questions about the RFP to MHCC. Completed proposals are due to MHCC by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on June 17, 2022.