When six major managed care companies (MCOs) offered to “speed date” practitioners at the conference, about sixty intrepid souls lined up to be romanced. At six tables (no candle-light), groups listened to the reps talk about their companies and what they look for in a (business) partner, including passion (for practice) and relationships (the ability to collaborate). The companies were portrayed in terms of their efforts at health-care integration and their plans for the future. Then came lively Q&A, followed by a new MCO exec rotating to the table.
The take-away for clinical social work? MCOs, with a surplus of practitioners in their urban networks, say they can pick and choose providers willing to share outcomes data, collaborate with other providers, and explore ways of delivering care outside of traditional fee-for-service relationships. While the goal of using pay-for-performance models instead of fee-for-service was often mentioned, the answer to “how will we be paid?” was not forthcoming.
If you work with MCOs, or want to, let them know what you do well and why your services are valuable. The pay-for-performance changes have already begun, especially in public systems like Medicaid.
If you want to stay cozy with MCOs and enhance your private practice, it looks as if you will have to change to continue in the relationship!