2020 promises to be a busy one for the popular institutional special plans, or I-SNPs, a co-chair of the American Health Care Association’s Population Health Management Council recently suggested.

On the heels of the council’s successful population health conference last December in Washington, D.C., the council is tentatively planning a second two-day conference this December, Steve Fogg, co-chair of the council, told McKnight’s. For the follow-up conference, there is likely to be “an even greater number of attendees than the first one,” said Fogg, CFO of Marquis Companies, a long-term care company located in the Pacific Northwest.

A total of 225 people attended last year’s inaugural event, which largely focused on I-SNPs, a Medicare Advantage insurance model that has captivated the long-term care field. The number of I-SNPs grew to 125 in 2019 from 97 in 2018, with the number of provider-led I-SNPs rising to 44 from 27 in that time frame, according to data from Anne Tumlinson Innovations.

Besides working toward another conference, the council will continue to advocate on behalf of I-SNPs this year, Fogg said. Among the council’s objectives, it will continue to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand supplemental benefits, which may include transportation and various types of therapy, for the plans; modify network advocacy requirements, such as a time and distance standard versus a county standard, to help the number of I-SNPs continue to grow; and create a five-star calculation process. Another goal of the council is to develop educational materials so that interested providers understand what it means to be an I-SNP, Fogg said.

“We’ll continue to make progress on these core objectives and continue to keep an eye on this very hot topic,” he said.