Yesterday afternoon, the State Department of Health issued the “Survey of Qualified Offerors” to all fiscal intermediary applicants (the “Survey”). The Survey contains important information about how additional fiscal intermediaries will be selected for the CDPAP RFO. In addition, the Survey provides the first timeline and insight into the Department’s plans to implement the RFO results.

Survey and Additional Fiscal Intermediaries

As readers know, when the CDPAP RFO results were issued, 68 applicants in total were awarded the RFO (the “Awardees”). The Department of Health (“DOH”) accepted a total of 385 applications for the CDPAP RFO.

The Survey asks limited questions, as described below. All qualified applicants, including the Awardees, must respond to the Survey. As explained by the Department, responses to the Survey will not affect the status of current awards but will serve to inform whether additional RFO awards are necessary based on the new selection criteria.

Individual scores of RFO applicants will not be changed based on responses to the Survey. As readers know, based on individual scores, the State ranked the applicants from 1 to 385. The State will utilize these rankings to determine which of the qualified RFO applicants to add to the list of RFO awardees. Thus, applicants that were ranked as number 69 and higher will be eligible to be selected and added to the list of Awardees.

The State will first select “one or two” additional fiscal intermediaries based on the fiscal intermediaries’ county location, as determined by the fiscal intermediary’s last tax filing. The State will select these additional fiscal intermediaries in the following counties: Suffolk, Bronx, Queens, Nassau, Kings, New York, Westchester, Monroe, Erie, Richmond, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Albany, Saratoga, Oneida, Onondaga, and Niagara. These county-based criteria are referred to in the Survey as “Category 1.”

Then, the Department will make “at least two additional awards” to RFO applicants that meet are an authorized, approved or certified by the OPWDD as a provider for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and such intermediary is either (a) a nonprofit or (b) has been providing fiscal intermediary services continuously since 2012. These criteria are referred to in the Survey as “Category 2.” If the DOH selects a FI from Category 1 that meets these criteria, then the Department may choose to not select a FI from Category 2. In other words, an intermediary that meets criteria for Category 1 and 2 will be selected to satisfy the State’s mandate to pick “at least two additional” fiscal intermediaries for Category 2.

The Department is also authorized to make “at least two additional awards” to RFO applicants that “have experience serving racial ethnic and/or religious minorities or ‘New Americans’” and that are either (a) a nonprofit or (b) have been providing fiscal intermediary services continuously since 2012. These criteria are referred to in the Survey as “Category 3.”

Lastly, the Department is also authorized to “make at least two additional awards” to non-awarded applicants that are certified – by New York State – as a minority business enterprise or a woman-owned enterprise. New York City certifications are not applicable. These criteria are referred to in the Survey as Category 4.

For Categories 2, 3, and 4, the State will be selecting qualified RFO applicants from a Statewide pool. Thus, for example, in evaluating whether there are any OPWDD certified fiscal intermediaries, the State will use the ranking system and select “at least two” of the highest ranked fiscal intermediaries from the entire State. However, it is our understanding that, once selected, those fiscal intermediaries will only be able to operate in the counties and regions where they applied to operate in their RFO application – they will not automatically receive a Statewide fiscal intermediary authorization.

It is not clear how many fiscal intermediaries will ultimately be selected from the Survey. The Department has a lot of discretion to select “one or two” or “at least two” additional fiscal intermediaries, but the Department also is tasked with ensuring “distribution and to ensure access” in different regions of the State. Thus, the Department may exercise more discretion with respect to Categories 2, 3 and 4 in the upstate regions of New York, where the market is not saturated with fiscal intermediaries.

The Survey Questions

The Survey questions are simple and straightforward. They ask for information meant to determine if the RFO applicant meets the criteria in Categories 1, 2, 3 and/or 4. Questions such as the following appear in the Survey:

  1. Is the offeror a NYS certified Minority Business Enterprise or a Woman Business Enterprise?
  2. Is the offeror a charitable corporation?
  3. Did the offeror begin providing fiscal intermediary services to CDPAP consumers prior to January 1, 2012?

For questions related to OPWDD certification, MWBE certification, non-profit status, continuous fiscal intermediary operations, and for agencies that have historically focused on providing FI services to ethnic and religious minorities, the Survey requires back-up documentation.

Timeline

The Deadline to submit answers to the Survey is July 30, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. The Department will host two question and answer webinars, on June 21 and June 23, and provide additional time for questions and answers via email.

The Survey states that the “anticipated” contract start date for all awards will be “on or after November 1, 2021.”

If you have any questions about the Survey, or what this means for the future of CDPAP and your particular fiscal intermediary, please contact us.