December 13, 2021

Growth and Progress: A Look Back at 2021

Kelly O’Reilly President and CEO, OAHP

This past year, which began amid a raging pandemic, wasn’t an easy one for anyone in the business of providing health care, but for OAHP it was a gratifying one. While COVID-19 has proved itself a stubborn adversary in Ohio and around the world, we know our work and that of our members has made a difference — both in fighting the pandemic and in boosting the health of Ohioans in general. Here’s a very brief look at some of the highlights:

We advocated for patients.

OAHP has been at the forefront of the movement for state legislation that benefits our members. One, the coordination of care amendment, was included in the budget passed last summer. It ensures that health plans are notified as soon as possible when a member is admitted to an inpatient health care facility. This allows plans to do a better job coordinating the care the member will need after leaving inpatient care.

The plans also helped implement a new Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) rule requiring telehealth service parity, meaning if a service is offered in person, it also must be offered via telehealth. We also have worked with ODI to create rules around a recent law change meant to protect Ohioans from unanticipated out-of-network bills.

We fought COVID-19.

After Gov. DeWine challenged Ohio’s Medicaid managed care and MyCare Ohio plans to “do more” to get Medicaid members vaccinated against the virus, the plans joined forces in an all-out, highly coordinated effort. This included development of the Vax on the Spot website providing members with information about where and how to get free vaccinations and overseeing an incentive program that eventually grew to $100 for any Medicaid member receiving the first vaccine shot.

The plans collaborated on efforts to communicate with members about vaccination through text messages, emails, phone calls, social media, news stories and fliers at community pharmacies. While data from the Ohio Department of Medicaid is temporarily unavailable, we hope to report on our success soon.

We told our story.

The association worked with the Medicaid Managed Care plans to communicate with Ohioans on the value that managed care brings to the delivery of Medicaid services. The effort included a campaign website, social media advertising targeting members of the General Assembly, and stories showing the impact of managed care on Ohioans’ health. We shared stories via blog posts, videos and news stories, and editorials via television, radio and newspapers.

We grew as an organization.

We were excited to unveil new branding midyear, with a refreshed logo and website designed to highlight industry excellence and thought leadership.

Our convention and trade show in September was our most successful ever, with a revenue increase of more than 12% over 2019. We took precautions to ensure a safe in-person event even amid the ongoing pandemic.

Lastly, in 2021 we welcomed 15 new supporting members and one new affiliate member.

Looking ahead

2022 brings a lot to look forward to, for the association and our member health plans.

OAHP will continue the collaborative work we do with partners such as the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, the Pediatric Care Council of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ohio Water Partnership, the Ohio Hospital Association and others. (Who knows? We might even get to work face to face in nonvirtual meetings.)

An online membership directory we have planned for 2022 should make networking easier for our members.

One policy priority for the Medicaid Managed Care plans in 2022 will be supporting the July 1 start of the Next Generation of Medicaid managed care — a system designed for the continued focus on the individual rather than the business of managed care.

As always, we will work hard to carry out the mission spelled out in our newly revised strategic plan, which calls for a proactive policy strategy to support “innovative solutions to increase access to quality and affordable health care coverage and improve health outcomes for Ohioans.”

I’m thankful for all that our member plans have accomplished toward this goal, and I look forward to another great year in 2022.

Happy holidays to all!