Oral health leader DentaQuest is the largest Medicaid and CHIP dental benefits administrator with more than 23 million members. The company’s government affairs (GA) department is responsible for monitoring policies that may impact their operations, their clients, and their state partners. The team includes internal staff and contract lobbyists operating across thirty states. Over time, they began running into several challenges inhibiting their ability to manage an effective government relations strategy. This all stemmed from the breadth of issues they work on and the difficulty of efficiently communicating across so many locations.
Matt Hawley, DentaQuest’s Policy and Federal Affairs Manager, had identified three challenges that the organization needed to solve. First, his team found it difficult to efficiently monitor and manage the volume of healthcare legislation and regulations that came under their purview. They were using manual processes — literally checking 30 state legislative websites, along with federal legislative and regulatory websites, as often as possible — to pull the relevant data into their system. Not only was this time consuming, the data itself was frequently out-of-date because they didn’t have the human resources or the technology to pull it often enough to stay current.
Secondly, consistent communications about policy issues and actions was a challenge for the disparate team. It was difficult to keep track of each team member’s notes and internal knowledge of an issue, or to remember who had existing relationships with specific lawmakers. The team was using multiple databases, excel spreadsheets, and emails to share information, which also made feedback loops nearly impossible, clearly limiting the efficiency of their communications and ultimately their overall strategy.
Finally, Hawley cited the business need for a systematic way to identify growth opportunities for the sales team. Since DentaQuest predominantly operates in the Medicaid/CHIP spaces, government policymakers provide the most information on opportunities for business expansion because they control how Medicaid is delivered in their states, generally issuing RFPs for various types of administrative contracts. For those states in which DentaQuest did not yet operate, the company needed a heads-up when an RFP would be issued, so that the business development team could respond rapidly. Expanding into additional states is a significant part of the company’s growth strategy; technology that would enable the team to routinely find opportunities in new states was becoming a “must have.”
With these challenges in mind, Hawley approached FiscalNote to learn more about the latter’s Government Relationship Management (GRM) solution and to discover whether or not the company could help them solve those issues. After implementing the solution, the GA team is routinely leveraging the software:
To resolve the volume challenge, Hawley and his team set up alerts in the GRM to monitor one of their most important issues — payment processing legislation. Eliminating the need to track multiple state websites with out-of-date information has created more efficiencies for the team, giving them more time to focus on strategic work.
From the perspective of communications, the GA team is now able to store their internal knowledge, actions taken, and any legislative meeting feedback in one central location to which the entire team has access. This knowledge management capability has streamlined their communications across the many state locations. It is proving highly useful in keeping the widely dispersed team informed and coordinated.
Equally significant, DentaQuest’s team is now able to systematically monitor changes in Medicaid and CHIP programs that might offer opportunities for business growth. The team generates a weekly report about these programs for the business development, sales, and client management branches within the enterprise. The use of GRM enables them to be much more efficient in identifying these growth opportunities.
The DentaQuest GA team has addressed the challenges of managing their government strategy by using FiscalNote’s GRM. From more effective monitoring capabilities to centralized knowledge management to systematic access to state issued RFPs, the GA team has improved both its efficiency and its effectiveness. Hawley noted that “our team has become much more nimble since we’ve adopted FiscalNote’s GRM platform. It’s allowed us to do more and to do it more easily.”