Vendors Information

Fiscal Year 2017 Treatment Services Solicitation

Alcohol Monitoring: Offer to Submit Price Quotes

Amended Solicitation

Vendors: Frequently-asked Questions

Are you expecting all clients to have a physical examination? Also, what do we do about the cost of medications? Seeing a physician when ill, etc.? (9/20/2016)

No, we do not expect you to do physical exams or blood collection. As far as medication, it depends what it is. We obviously should have the probation officer working with the client to make sure that they get on the Oregon Health Plan so they can take care of these matters on their own. However if the client is struggling to have resources they can contact the probation officer who will go through their finances to determine if they are indigent and can help bridge the gap often times prior to them receiving the Oregon Health Plan.

Please clarify any information you would like to be included about the agency (history, programming, cultural expertise, etc...).

The RFP, while generic in many ways, provides detailed and specific instructions for successful completion. The vendor is in the best position to decide what information to provide while following these instructions.

Would you like a statement about the agency and our ability to perform the RFP requirements? If so, what would you like to be included in the statement and where should we place it?

It is not necessary to submit a separate, stand-alone statement describing your ability to perform the requirements of the RFP. By submitting the BACKGROUND STATEMENT the offeror warrants that all information contained therein is correct an accurately reflects the offeror’s ability to perform. Please be sure to address all of the BACKGROUND STATEMENT requirements.

Project Code 2022 (Manualized Cognitive Behavioral Group) is a new service from prior RFPs. Are we to include this in our proposal?

Yes. Evidence continues to support Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) programs that specifically target the criminal thinking component of the individuals we work with.

Regarding the staff qualifications requirements for either BA/BS or Masters: Recognizing that staff move in and out of positions in substance abuse counseling, will you accept a CADC II plus Associate’s degree plus experience?

You must have at least one staff member who meets the qualifying standards described under Staff Qualifications, items 6(a) and (b). Paraprofessionals without these credentials may wor kunder the direct supervision of and in conjunction with a staff member who meets these requirements.

For any item that the offeror will provide without charge or without additional charge, the offeror shall insert “N/C” in the Unit Price column of Section B.

We are a new business and have not been inspected, monitored, or certified by federal, state, or local authorities. Are we excluded from submitting an RFP since we will be found technically unacceptable for not submitting these documents?

No - New businesses that have not had inspections, monitors, etc... are not excluded from bidding. For this requirement, simply respond that you are a new business and have not gone through any of these processes in the past.

Please note that if you are the new owner or manager of a business that has been monitored or inspected and you have access to those records, they should be submitted.

For outpatient treatment services can we apply to just treat female offenders?

No - Request services for Mental Health Intake Assessment and Report (Project Code 5011) and Individual Counseling (Project Code 6010). It is understood that counselors often specialize in certain areas such as couples counseling, parenting issues, grief, and especially issues specifically related to women. However, when considering the need for these services, the ratio of male and female offenders in the District of Oregon (80/20), and the required qualifications of the provider(s), it is assumed that he/she will treat both men and women.

Proposals that take exception to the terms and conditions will be determined technically unacceptable and the offeror will be so advised.

Preparation of Background Statements : it states “The offeror shall prepare and submit as part of its offer a BACKGROUND STATEMENT addressing the requirements in paragraphs 2a through d below.” Other than 2b, which asks for a statement of where services will be provided, the requirements in 2a through 2d ask for copies of monitoring reports, licenses, compliance reports, etc. So, it’s not entirely clear if you are asking for an actual explanation of our experience providing the services requested in the BPA (as we have done in past solicitations), or whether you just want copies of the reports. The prior solicitations said, “ which the offeror describes its experience in providing the requested contract services.”

The Background Statement addresses the requirements in paragraphs 2.a through d. While the Requirements ask for copies of several documents, there are also several instances where an explanation or clarification is needed.

Example - You completed your state inspection on July 31, 2012, and just received the report. There were three deficiencies found which resulted in an unsatisfactory rating. You are given 60 days to correct the deficiencies. Re-inspection is scheduled for October 1, 2012. Since you are required to submit the failed inspection report, an explanation of the circumstances that resulted in the unsatisfactory rating and what you have done to correct the deficiency may be necessary.

For additional assistance with the Background Statement, please see Section M which details specifically how I will evaluate the RFP for award.

On Attachment C - Offeror’s Staff Qualifications: do you want only one direct service staff or do you want us to include administrative support staff, such as those in the billing department and senior management?

All Staff performing services under any resultant Agreement should be included.

We just learned of an RFP for services in our area that we now provide. Is it too late to request that RFP be sent to us?

You may request an RFP at any time prior to its due date; however, the due date cannot be extended. Late reports will be mailed the day of the request.

We offer Peer Support as a part of our program. Can this be added to the RFP and/or is there another RFP requesting this service we can bid on?

You cannot add a service to an RFP. There is no RFP for Peer Support in the District of Oregon this year.

Is U.S. Probation accepting chemical dependency and mental health treatment issues to be treated concurrently while in therapeutic community (Project Code 1001)?

It is expected that a percentage of offenders referred for residential substance abuse treatment (Project Code 1001) will have co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis). Project Code 1001 states in part that vendors providing this service “...promote substance free living and mental health stability.” While intensive mental health treatment or psychiatric services are not expected, promoting mental health stability along with substance free living is.

Can we add other services to the Mental Health Counseling Services list? For example, we have different Group Counseling (Project Code 6020) Unit Prices, depending on which program they are enrolled in at our facility. Also, we run into similar issues with our Individual Counseling (Project Code 6010) Unit Prices being different than our Intake Sessions” Unit Prices.

You cannot add other services to the RFP. If you have different prices for the same project codes because of service(s) that you provide targets certain groups, behaviors, etc... you will have to determine which of your services best fits the needs of our offenders and submit that offer. Please remember all services must adhere to the Oregon Department of Justice Batterer Intervention Program Rules though if its for a domestic violence/anger management class Please note that an “intake” and/or assessment are not included in this RFP. Recent Changes require a full mental health assessment identifying domestic violence/anger management issues when associated with an underlying mental health diagnosis (see Local Services, page C-16). You are allowed to use an individual session at the beginning of treatment as an intake/orientation to the program.

Upon looking through the RFP for the Treatment Services Solicitation, I noticed there were numerous pre-filled forms that need to be filled out for the proposal. I was curious as to whether there is an electronic copy available for vendors?

No - Concerns have been raised about doing this because it would not only allow vendors to type in the blanks, but also change wording in the document. There is a “typewriter” function in pdf that may allow you to type on the forms.

Can you clarify the square footage with regard to fire extinguishers under the section on Safety Precautions?

Each facility shall have portable fire extinguishers throughout the facility appropriately rated and classed. Use the State of Oregon fire code requirements. The 600 square feet note is just an example of a Class A fire extinguisher and its restrictions.

Can you confirm that the signed Certification for Contractors on Sexual Misconduct Policy (and the policy itself) does NOT get submitted now as part of our response?

This certification is not required as part of the response. Only vendors who win the award will be required to make this certification.

An offender in services at my agency has requested that I disclose his/her treatment records to a third party. Can I do this? Do I have to get the permission of the probation office first?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (“HIPPA”) allows federal vendors to provide individual federal clients access to their records or, alternatively, to request that a provider “mail a copy of the protected health information at the individuals request” [Title 45 C.F.R. 164.524(c)(3)]. Vendors may release treatment information directly to requesting third parties in accordance with HIPPA regulations. Vendors should be aware, however, pursuant to Page C-45(b)(1) through (7) of the Blanket Purchase Agreement, the vendor is still required to notify the United States Probation or Pretrial Services Office of any request for treatment information prior to making the disclosure. For complicated matters or specific questions, it is recommended that vendors seek legal advice from your own counsel since HIPPA compliance is ultimately your obligation. Vendors may also allow defendant/offender access to their treatment records in accordance with HIPPA regulations.

Our state’s licensing agency wants to review our federal files as part of our licensing audit. I know the federal files must be maintained as confidential. Can I let the state auditors review the federal files?

Whether an entity seeking to conduct an audit or evaluation is permitted to do so is a matter that each vendor must resolve under the federal regulations discussed below.

1. The HIPPA Privacy Rule Section 165.512 of the HIPPA privacy rule sets forth “[u]ses and disclosures for which an authorization or opportunity to agree or object [by the patient] is not required.” 45 C.F.R. § 165.512. Among such allowed disclosures are those for “health oversight activities:”

(d) Standard: Uses and discloses for health oversight activities.

(1)Permitted disclosures. A covered entity may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law, including audits; civil, administrative, or criminal investigations; inspections; licensure or disciplinary actions; civil, administrative, or criminal proceedings or actions; or other activities necessary for appropriate oversight of:

(i) The Health care system;

(ii) Government benefits programs for which health information is relevant to beneficiary eligibility;

(iii) Entities subject to government regulatory programs for which health information is necessary for determining compliance with program standards; or

(iv) Entities subject to civil rights laws for which health information is necessary for determining compliance. Id. § 164.521(d).
The privacy rule defines “health oversight agency” as follows: Health oversight agency means an agency or authority of the Unites States, a State, a territory, a political subdivision of a State or territory, or an Indian tribe, or a person or entity acting under a grant of authority from or contract with such public agency, including the employees or agents of such public agency or its contractors or persons or entities to whom it has granted authority, that is authorized by law to oversee the health care system (whether public or private) or government programs in which health information is necessary to determine eligibility or compliance, or to enforce civil rights laws for which health information is relevant. Id. At 164.512 (emphasis added). Notwithstanding that it is a non-governmental entity; CARF would qualify as a “health oversight agency” of either the probation office grants it oversight authority or the probation office authorizes the vendor to grant CARF oversight authority. Of course, CARF would have to be otherwise &ldqup;authorized by law to oversee the health care system.” Presumably, state laws in the districts where CARF has conducted audits authorize CARF to oversee treatment facilities. Thus, the privacy rule allows health care providers (which are “covered entities”) to disclose protected health information to “health oversight agency(ies) for oversight activities authorized b law.” This could potentially include state, federal, or nonprofits such as CARF. Whether an entity qualifies as a health oversight agency, however, is an issue of each vendor to resolve under § 164.512 and state law.

II. The Drug Treatment Confidentially Regulations Section 2.53 of the drug treatment confidentially regulations allows federal, state, and local governmental agencies to review treatment records if authorized by law to regulate the vendor’s activities. 42 C.F.R §2.53(a)(1)(i). In addition “a quality improvement organization performing a utilization or quality control review” or an entity “determined by the program director to be qualified to conduct audit or evaluation activities” may review treatment records. Id. § 2.539(a)(1)(i) & (a)(2). If the vendor determines that any of the foregoing entities are authorized to have access to treatment records under § 2.539(a), the reviewing entity must “agree” in writing to comply with the limitations on redisclosure and use in] § 2.53(d)].” Section 2.53(d) essentially limits an auditor to disclosing and using treatment information that was disclosed during an audit to notify the treatment provider of the auditor’s evaluation. Section 2.53(d) also provides for disclosure and use to investigate or prosecute a program, or a person holding the records, if the agency obtains a court order under 42 C.F.R. § 2.66. In sum, the HIPPA privacy rule allows auditors to have access to records if they are employed by a “health oversight agency” and they are performing “oversight activities authorized by law.” The drug treatment confidentiality regulations also allow access so long as a § 2.53 complaint form is signed by the auditor who qualifies under § 2.53(a). Attached is a draft form demonstrating what the drug treatment confidentiality regulations would require an auditor to sign before receiving access to drug treatment records. Vendors should currently be using a form similar to this. The regulations do not specify that such a form need be completed for each file reviewed. Rather, they state that when an auditor reviews “patient records,” she must sign a written agreement to comply with the § 2.53 limits on disclosure. [This is interpreted] as simply requiring one written agreement for each audit or review of multiple records. A sample release form for these purposes can be found on this website in the Vendor Information/Forms section.

In order to comply with state substance abuse licensure requirements, I must complete an intake assessment on each individual referred for services. The USPO didn’t authorize an intake assessment on the program plan. Can I complete an assessment and charge for it anyway? Can I refuse to begin treatment until the USPO authorizes an intake assessment?

No and No. The Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) between the vendor and the U.S. Probation/Pretrial Services Office states , “The vendor shall provide services strictly in accordance with the program plan for each defendant/offender. The government shall not be liable for any services provided by the vendor that have not been authorized for that defendant/offender in the program plan.”

Oftentimes, a USPO has enough supporting documentation regarding an offender’s substance abuse history, that it is not necessary for treatment. USPOs have at their disposal a presentence investigation report, institutional treatment and adjustment reports, and they’ve done a risk assessment.

If the vendor must complete an assessment for state licensure, purposes, the vendor should still complete an assessment. The vendor may not, however, charge the government for this assessment. If the USPO has authorized individual counseling sessions, it would be appropriate for the vendor to spend the initial counseling sessions completing the state-required assessment. If the USPO has not authorized individual counseling sessions, the vendor must complete the state-required assessment on the vendor’s list. The vendor should factor this possible scenario into the price bid for services during the contract solicitation cycle.

My BPA with the probation office says I have to keep all federal files separate from other client files. Does this mean that I also can’t put federal offenders/defendants in services with other clients?

No. You are correct that your BPA requires that, “The vendor shall segregate defendant/offender files from other vendor records.” This separation is required only for the actual treatment files, not the clients themselves. The vendor may place federal defendants/offenders in group counseling sessions with other non-federal clients. For example, a cognitive-behavior treatment group of federal offenders and state offenders would be appropriate under this contract. The vendor should, however, check with other contracted agencies to ensure those agencies are in agreement with such a “mixed” group. The vendor would also be cautioned about placing federal offenders/defendants in a group with noncriminal justice clients.

I have been subpoenaed by a defendant/offender’s attorney to testify in court. How to I proceed?

If you are requested or subpoenaed by an attorney to appear in court, you should immediately contact your assigned contract specialist. The BPA with the probation/pretrial services office does provide in section C for the event of vendor testimony. Your contract specialist will guide you through this process.

While reviewing the RFP for SO treatment I note that both PPG and VRT testing are discussed in the body of the document as tests which may be used. In the section of the RFP which asks for unit pricing proposals, only the VRT (Abel test) is indicated. The costs for administering these two tests differ (ppg testing is a bit less) and, as a consequence, the fees for the two tests differ. Can an additional proposed fee option be added to the proposed fee page which is for PPG testing?

We are only requesting services for VRT (Abel Test) only. No additional proposed fee options may be given. We are not requesting services for PPG testing.

The SO Evaluation description refers to a proposed cost inclusive of any testing and that it needs to include assessment of sexual interest/deviancy. It is not clear to me if your agency is wanting a PPG or Abel as part of that SO evaluation or if you want the assessment of sexual interest/deviancy accomplished through interview, history review, could you please clarify as including of PPG or Abel testing would impact the proposed cost of the SO evaluation.

The assessment is separate and should be accomplished through interview and history review, etc.

Finally, it appears that the RFP indicates the program awarded the contract can create computer based forms for reporting as long as all content areas that are in the reporting forms provided for review in the RFP are in the created forms. I am especially interested in the monthly report forms. Would there be a problem if the program awarded the contract create a second page to the monthly report form which has the narrative content indicated on the Federal form so that the therapist narrative could be completed via word processor and attached to the attendance reporting page? This would end the necessity of hand written monthly reports.

Yes a second page to the monthly report with a narrative content is fine. Please have the writer sign the document though.

I am wondering if you all have fillable forms available for:
- Section A - Solicitation/Offer/Acceptance form
- Section B - Supplies or Services and Offeror’s Prices form
- Section K - Representations, Certifications and Other Statements of Offerors and Quoters
- Section L - Attachments A-D. Or would you like us to recreate those that we can, and fill in the others by hand?

Some of the sections have forms to fill in by hand and other sections require you to submit separate attachments and statements. Each paragraph identifies what is to be submitted.

Are there customary fee schedules for requested services on solicitations for substance abuse treatment (0979-16-10) and Mental Health treatment (0979-16-07)?

A. Current pricing for existing agreements are as follows for substance abuse and Mental Health agreements for the following services:
Case management Services - $41.85 per unit
Individual Substance Abuse Counseling - $41.85 per unit
Substance Abuse Intake - $84.78
Group Substance Abuse Counseling - $14.87 per unit
Manualized Cognitive Behavior Group - $15.23 per unit
Intensive Outpatient counseling - $89.20 per session
Mental Health Assessment - $154.72
Case Management Services - $50.82 per unit
Individual Counseling dual disorders - $51.57 per unit
Group Counseling for Dual disorders - 18.78 per unit
Medication Monitoring - $78.43 per unit