Five Lessons Learned from a Recent Health Plan Bid Process [Video]

Medicare Advantage plan product design

In January of 2019, IEN hosted an event on Medicare Advantage Product Design & Management. This event explored best practices on market strategy, bid submission, and benefit implementation. Elizabeth Lopez Cepero from Superior Health Plan participated in a discussion on organizational best practices for the Product Design Process.

As the VP of Medicare Operations and Business Strategy at Superior Health, Elizabeth shared five lessons that she learned from a recent CMS bid.

Lessons learned in the bid process

Celebrate your successes early and often

It is important that you memorialize what has worked for your team. For example, don’t just recognize accomplishments after the process is over; regularly communicate successes with your team. Things can move very quickly in the bid process. Taking the time to celebrate milestones and recognize key groups can do a lot for keeping an organization focused and together.

Get your leadership buy-in as early as possible

Gaining the support of your leadership is critical to the smooth execution of a bid. If you get buy-in from your leadership team early, then it will be easier to get key groups on the same page as the process begins. Also, early buy-in can help prevent changes in the process later on.

Communicate, communicate, communicate and Document, document, document

There are so many moving pieces in the bid process and they’re happening all at the same time. In addition to this, there are a lot of different parties involved at each step in the process. As a result, you want to make sure that you are doing two things at every step. Firstly, make sure you are clear on your communication. More importantly, make sure you are documenting said communication on a shareable format for all parties to reference. For example, we set up a SharePoint site to document and memorialize all communication for historical purposes. Also, having a central location for documentation helps your initiative be as transparent as possible at all points of the process.

Get a pulse on how the organization is handling the bid process

It can be very helpful to have a clear understanding of how the organization is working. We’ve found the best way to do this is to conduct regular surveys to collect feedback. All groups and individuals need to be involved in the process and have their feedback considered. Above all, it can be incredibly helpful to get feedback on how you are communicating within your organization. There are a lot of great online tools that can help you ask for feedback. For example, we use SurveyMonkey to reach out to people in our organization to collect feedback on the bid process. Ask questions about the way you’re communicating, how often you’re communicating, or what information you’re communicating about. Overall, gathering and acting on feedback can help smooth out the bid process within your organization.

Don’t forget about your sales team

Your sales team always has a solid understanding of what’s going on out in the community. Consequently, they are a critical partner during the bid process. In addition to the context they can provide, they also will have great insight and recommendations as you go through the bid process. You really want to be lock-step with your sales team when you go live. You need to have that key partner there to support you.

Looking for essential new information on evolving CMS models?

IEN will be hosting the 2nd Annual Medicare Advantage Product Design & Management in February 2020 in Atlanta, GA. Learn from experts as they share insight on CMS models, incorporating SDoH, enhancing bids, and more.

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