So You Want To Launch A D-SNP?
By Gen Gillespie and Mac Davis
At Belong Health, we encourage local, community-oriented health plans to take full advantage of the opportunities a D-SNP can unlock. There’s no better or more comprehensive way to attract market share and deliver a comprehensive patient experience to elderly and disabled people.
Because of its innate complexity, every D-SNP launch should be preceded by thoughtfulness and thorough planning. Want to get a head start on securing the capabilities and processes required to manage a diverse and growing D-SNP population? Make sure to keep these assets in mind:
A Competitive Mindset
As national carriers are typically locked into a Medicare-oriented business planning model (and often pay little attention to social determinants of health), regional providers enjoy competitive advantages in their consideration of the D-SNP space.
For starters: local providers are deeply rooted in the communities they serve — and can turn to community-based grants to drive sales and marketing at a ground level. Day after day, they’re well-positioned to engage and form bonds with a “captive” local audience.
Meanwhile, national carriers enter and exit geographies at will, “churning” through counties with little regard to local needs or specificity.
Across a competitive landscape, regional and local models should embrace this powerful opportunity to differentiate themselves from the pack and to chart a bright future — perhaps by helping existing membership transition into Medicare products as they reach eligibility.
Adherence to a Timeline
Unlike Medicaid, Medicare follows a rigid and reliable timeline — one that offers no room for errors in planning. Miss an important deadline in bidding or filing? You’ll be stuck waiting a full year before you can try again.
As just one example: a July 2024 launch necessitates a “signal of intent” due in February 2023, a formulary due in June 2023, and a marketing launch in October 2023. And that’s all without considering numerous stakeholder conversations that should precede any of these stages.
Launching a D-SNP demands precision, foresight, and focus. Even before considering the bid and readiness process, providers starting from ground zero (with only Medicaid, no Managed Long-Term Services or Supports or behavioral health components) should plan for an additional one-and-a-half to two years of strategizing with board, executive, and financial teams.