How receptive are plans to the negotiation of contracts?
The managed care organization is going to start with its own template agreement for the type of service but contracts are negotiable. For example term and termination are definitely negotiable, assignment can be negotiable. On the other hand compliance with laws is not going to be negotiable. If planning to negotiate a lot of the provisions providers may want to consult with a lawyer. But often plans do not use lawyers in favor of provider contract teams. During negotiation, focus on things that are important from a business perspective. Remember some, like "performance standards," may not be in the main contract; they may be in appendices.
Is there a reason that managed care organizations would not want to contract with a provider?
Managed care organizations may not want to contract with a provider because of geographical coverage, cost, or concerns about quality of care.
What is the definition of medical necessity?
The New York State Department of Health defines medically necessary as: "health care and services that are necessary to prevent, diagnose, manage or treat conditions in the person that cause acute suffering, endanger life, result in illness or infirmity, interfere with such person's capacity for normal activity, or threaten some significant handicap."
What is the optimal background for the provider point person in the managed care contracting process?
Someone of a high level in the provider organization, who has broad knowledge of the organization and the members that you serve, and who can communicate with high levels within the managed care organization would be optimal.
What can providers expect in terms of potential auditing from the managed care organizations?
This depends on the managed care organization so review your individual contracts. Managed care organizations have the right to audit providers for various reasons. Specifically, reimbursement for services to make sure that there's documentation to support the claims that providers submit as well as for the quality measures that the plans are valuated on. Managed care organizations are entitled to reasonable access to information. Reasonable access presumably means notifying providers in advance, allowing providers to schedule the audit when they do not already have another plan auditing that day, and not interrupting or interfering with provider operations.