By now, you may have heard the term “CCO.” But what is it and what does this new acronym mean?

A “CCO” is a Care Coordination Organization. New York State, in its pursuit of a managed care model, will be introducing Care Coordination Organizations to the field and they are planned to begin in July 2018. The Care Coordination Organizations will be responsible to provide all the supports your current Medicaid Service Coordination does, as well as integrating medical and behavioral health.

What does this mean for MSC? MSC will no longer exist as it does now. Most CCO’s are indicating that they will hire all of the MSC staff of the agencies partnering with them. OPWDD and the Department of Health will be reviewing the applications of these emerging CCO’s, but it is anticipated that there will be six across the state, and three operating in the Capital District area.

How will my MSC support me? It is anticipated that you will still have regular contact with your MSC/Care Manager, as you do now. Caseload sizes are expected to be very similar to current levels. In the new system, your Care Manager will also be helping you coordinate your health care and behavioral support services in a more integrated way than in the past. The ISP will move to an electronic document known as a “Life Plan”.

Will I be able to keep my current MSC? That is the hope. However, the fact remains that these CCO’s have not yet been in touch with MSC staff regarding critical information such as salaries, benefits, and work sites. Most are in the process now of examining the salaries and benefits of the various agencies that will be working with them in order to come up with their compensation plans. MSC’s in the field eagerly await this information so critical to their own planning process.

How does this effect my other services? At this point it doesn’t. You can still continue any and all of the services you currently have, and the CCO transition does not affect that at all. CCO’s will have networks, but you will not be required to use their networks. It would not be until a full move to managed care that you would have to use a participating provider. OPWDD is indicating that they’d like to move to a fully managed care system in the next five years.

What about my choice? As we understand it now, on day one of CCO operations, people will be auto-assigned to the CCO your current agency is partnering with. However, after that you have a choice of any of the CCO’s who operate in your area.

I still have questions/concerns! You are not alone! But we are happy to answer or clarify any of the information we currently have. You can contact Patty Vassi, Director of MSC at 640-3353 or Danielle Mazza, Director of Community and Family Supports at 640-3347, and we’ll do our best to give you answers.