A new lobbying group wants to represent the interests of healthcare plans and providers that have contracts with such federal government agencies as HCFA, the Defense Department and the federal employees' health plan.
The group, called the Association of Government Healthcare Contractors, is now trying to land an executive director and bring on board 10 companies as founding members.
Because it might represent some of the same members, it could dilute some of the political power of existing groups such as the American Association of Health Plans, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and the American Hospital Association.
In the AHA's case, some of its members will be trying to form provider-sponsored organizations that will contract directly with the federal government to cover Medicare enrollees. That means the AHA will be in direct competition with the new association.
The effort to create the new organization is being led by Kevin Jay Bacon, president of the Herndon, Va.-based consulting firm Integrated Healthcare Services, whose clients cover 4 million enrollees in 40 states through Defense Department or Medicaid managed-care plans.
Bacon said the group will focus on how to win and keep contracts to cover enrollees in government healthcare programs. It will also cover compliance with the regulations of those programs.
Bacon said his firm initially will author four reports on behalf of the association. One of them will examine the issues surrounding a change in the Defense Department's financing formula in its Tricare managed-care plans and another will focus on direct contracting by PSOs with Medicare and other federal programs.