Developing a Winning Plan for PACE RFPs 

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ATIWebinars
02/15/2024
AUTHOR – ATI Advisory

Summary

Tina Pickett, Managing Director of ATI Advisory’s Complex Care Programs, Policy, & Research practice, and Jade Gong, Senior Advisor, explored how organizations can harness growing interest in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) during the webinar, “Developing a Winning Plan for PACE RFPs.”   

Accelerating Interest in PACE 

We have seen increasing state interest in PACE in the last few years, heightened by the success of PACE during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 32 states and D.C. already have a PACE program in place, several states have recently expanded or are actively expanding PACE, and six states – CT, GA, MN, NH, NV, and SD – are considering or in the process of implementing PACE. Pickett recommends watching these six states closely for RFP opportunities. 

Given the recent PACE expansions, Pickett expects to see considerable future growth from PACE in the coming months and years.  

PACE growth is currently concentrated in five parent organizations; these organizations held 32% of PACE total enrollment as of December 2023. PACE enrollment is now over 70,000 participants, an increase of 40% since 2019

Winning PACE RFPs   

Developing a winning strategy for RFPs is critical for accessing opportunities in PACE. There is substantial diversity in organization types and experience level within RFP winners, so there is a great opportunity for many organizations to participate in PACE. Pickett highlighted themes among recent PACE RFP winners in four states (IL, MD, OH, OR). She noted an even split between for-profit and non-profit organizations with a slight advantage for organizations with prior PACE experience.  

While many winners were multi-state PACE operators and previously existing PACE operators, new organizations have been able to participate as well.  

Advice for RFP Preparation

Gong stressed that while many different types of organizations are eligible to become PACE operators, the competition for state RFPs is fierce and extensive preparation is essential to winning. She recommended five steps for preparing a winning RFP response: 

1. Undertake a thorough feasibility study 

Assessing factors including your organizational capacity, demand, community relationships, market factors, and potential rates will help pressure test your leadership commitment to PACE and your organization’s risk tolerance. 

2. Showcase your PACE operational knowledge 

Recent RFPs have required that applicants demonstrate detailed knowledge of how to operationalize PACE as part of the response. Providing detailed financial, staffing, and service plans will demonstrate expertise in the field and an understanding of PACE requirements. 

3. Examine the RFP requirements and scoring matrix carefully 

Review the RFP carefully to understand eligibility, gain insight on state priorities, and inform any partnership development you may want to pursue. The scoring matrix will help target priority areas to focus on and highlight your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. 

4. Determine market area strategically 

States are generally prescriptive in their RFPs regarding PACE service areas, and you will need to adhere to those markets definition. You will want to demonstrate your knowledge and deep connection to your identified market and consider partnerships that would strengthen your ability to effectively serve this area. 

5. Start preparing your response prior to the RFP release 

Preparing early will enable your organization to ensure all components of your response are in place during the (typically short) RFP response timeline. In addition to market area, some areas to prepare ahead of an RFP release include identifying potential PACE center locations and fostering relationships with community agencies and network providers. You will then need to adapt and showcase your plans as needed to adhere to the RFP requirements once they are released.  

Conclusion

The webinar closed with a discussion of how to engage community partners and ideas for differentiating your response while meeting the RFP requirements to develop the most compelling RFP response possible. 

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