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RFP questions and answers

Questions and answers related to a Request for Proposal for qualified providers to improve quality of services for persons receiving customized living services through the Elderly Waiver.

Basic requirements in the request for proposal (RFP)

Q1: If we have a policy that is $1 million per occurrence and $3 million aggregate plus an umbrella that is $3 million per occurrence and $3 million aggregate, does this qualify per the RFP requirements, as this is very standard in our industry. 
A1: An umbrella policy may be used to supplement the commercial general liability policy. Please note that it is really intended to supplement the amounts, not replace the policy. DHS staff will review the insurance for compliance.

Q2: We’re wondering if these grants will be offered next year or in future years. We just learned of the RFP last week, and it’s impossible for us to put together a request in that short of time. 
A2: The legislature appropriated $500,000 per state fiscal year in an ongoing manner for this grant program. With this current RFP DHS expects to award funds for state fiscal years 2020 and 2021. DHS expects to issue another RFP in approximately 2 years for future fiscal years.

Q3: Can an organization submit one application for two sites, by combining the totals of the number of people served in that geographic area within the two sites? If the organization has a site in another geographic area, can that site be left out of the application? 
A3: The grant RFP states (on Page 7, Section B. Proposal Requirements, Paragraph 2. Description of the Applicant Agency) “…include a brief history of your organization, information on the assisted living setting(s) geographic area served, the address of the project site(s), and the number of total people served within each setting.” 

There is no limitation on how many or which customized living locations a provider agency can include in its proposal. The proposal should clearly identify which of the provider’s settings are included in the proposal, and for those settings, the number of EW participants served and the proportion of EW participants served as a percentage of people served in those settings.

Q4: We are looking at leasing a van to take our residents to appointments, shopping, and to community events. Under the budget should I put that cost under: equipment, direct project costs, or sub-contractor? 
A4: The proposal to lease a van should be tied to the policy objectives of the grant. It would be most appropriately considered as “other expenses” in the budget, since it’s not considered equipment that is being purchased.

Q5: Will the initial payment include the start-up costs for the project, or will the total costs be divided by months?  
A5: The grant RFP states (on Page 8, Section B. Proposal Requirements, Paragraph 7. Budget proposal): “Assuming successful Responders meet all requirements and responsibilities defined in the final negotiated contract, the State plans to take the following approach to payments: one initial cash advance equal to one calendar quarter, followed by quarterly cost reimbursement based on the previous quarter’s expenses as documented by invoices.”

Q6: In the narrative should we include CADI waivers as well for percentage of underserved populations? 
A6: The legislation that authorizes this grant program specifically instructs the state to give preference to providers that serve at least 75 percent Elderly Waiver participants. Therefore, please ensure that you are providing the following information specifically about Elderly Waiver participants, as outlined in the RFP (on Page 7, Section B. Proposal Requirements, Paragraph 3. Proportion of Elderly Waiver Participants): “Report the number of EW individuals served in your setting and the proportion of EW individuals as a percentage of your overall census in one or more of the following ways:

  • Number and percent of EW participants on July 1, 2019 
  • Average number and percentage of EW participants between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019 
  • Average number and percentage of EW participants between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019” 

Responders may choose to provide additional information about people served through other programs such as the CADI waiver, but this information will not be used to calculate the responder’s score in that required section of the RFP.

Q7: The grant RFP asks for 2014 financials. Is this correct?
A7: In the previous version of the RFP, there was an outdated requirement for earlier IRS forms. This has been changed in the current RFP to require the most recent IRS forms.

Q8: There is a numbered question missing, number 5.
A8: In the RFP, under section B. Proposal Requirements, the numbering of the paragraphs erroneously omitted the number 5. The number of paragraphs and requirements are correct and there is no content missing in the RFP or in the online application. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Q9: When it comes to the “Targeted Organization: Economically disadvantaged small business” it asks us to submit the most recently filed 990 form. We are city owned so we don’t file this form. Do we just submit all the other information?
A9: please refer to the information on the DHS grants and RFPs webpage, specifically the information regarding requirements for qualifying as a targeted organization.

To qualify as a targeted organization, the Responder must demonstrate that it satisfies any one of the three following categories:

  1. Targeted organization. The Responder may qualify as a Targeted Organization if the Responder is a Minnesota-based organization and at least 51% owned by women, racial minority/people of color, veterans or people of disability; OR 51% operated and controlled on a day-to-day and long-term basis by staff members who are women, racial minority/people of color, veterans or people of disability.
  2. Targeted organization: Economically disadvantaged small business. The Responder may qualify as proposal Targeted Organization if the Responder is a Minnesota-based business that has less than $1.5 million in annual gross revenue or sales AND is located in an Economically Disadvantaged Area in Minnesota under (a) counties or (b) Indian Reservations/Communities below:
    a) Counties (http://www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/lsalist.htm)
    • Aitkin; Becker; Big Stone; Cass; Chippewa; Clearwater; Cottonwood
    • Douglas; Faribault; Fillmore; Grant; Hubbard; Jackson
    • Kanabec; Kittson; Koochiching; Lac Qui Parle; Lake of the Woods
    • Lincoln; Mahnomen; Marshall; Meeker; Morrison
    • Murray; Norman; Otter Tail; Pine; Pipestone
    • Pope; Red Lake; Redwood; Renville; Rock
    • Sibley; Swift; Todd; Traverse; Wadena; Watonwan
    • Yellow Medicine
    b) Indian reservations and communities
    • Bois Forte; Fond Du Lac; Grand Portage; Leech Lake
    • Lower Sioux; Mille Lacs; Prairie Island; Red Lake
    • Shakopee; Upper Sioux; White Earth
  3. Qualified by Minnesota Department of Administration. The Responder may qualify as a Targeted Organization if the Responder is certified as a TG/ED business through the Minnesota Department of Administration, Materials Management Division (MMD): http://www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/mn02001.htm.

Q10: If our application was to get accepted how would this grant be paid out? Would there be regular payments made, paid at the end or up front?
A10: The grant RFP states (on Page 8, Section B. Proposal Requirements, Paragraph 7. Budget proposal): “Assuming successful Responders meet all requirements and responsibilities defined in the final negotiated contract, the State plans to take the following approach to payments: one initial cash advance equal to one calendar quarter, followed by quarterly cost reimbursement based on the previous quarter’s expenses as documented by invoices.”

Q11: One of our communities is in St. Paul and has a mixed population of EW and Cadi. Currently our EW is at 60% however a number of the cadi qualify for EW but did not change from Cadi when they came of age. Would this community be eligible with it being below the 75% EW participation?
A11: Respondents can submit a proposal for the RFP if they serve any people through Elderly Waiver Customized Living. As stated in the RFP, through the proposal review process points for the “Proportion of Elderly Waiver Participants Served” will be awarded in the following way:

  • 75-100 percent EW participants served = 15 points
  • 50-74 percent EW participants served = 7.5
  • 49 percent or below = 0 points

Please note that this is only one part of a responders' overall score.

The legislation that authorizes this grant program specifically instructs the state to give preference to providers that serve at least 75 percent Elderly Waiver participants. Therefore, please ensure that you are providing the following information specifically about Elderly Waiver participants, as outlined in the RFP (on Page 7, Section B. Proposal Requirements, Paragraph 3. Proportion of Elderly Waiver Participants): “Report the number of EW individuals served in your setting and the proportion of EW individuals as a percentage of your overall census in one or more of the following ways:

  • Number and percent of EW participants on July 1, 2019
  • Average number and percentage of EW participants between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019
  • Average number and percentage of EW participants between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019”

Responders may choose to provide additional information about people served through other programs such as the CADI waiver, but this information will not be used to calculate the responder’s score in that required section of the RFP. Please note that this is only one part of a responders’ overall score. 

Q12: We have two communities that do meet the requirements that would benefit from this proposed Grant, would both communities be eligible for this grant?
A12: As was stated in the response to Q11 above, respondents can submit a proposal for the RFP if they serve any people through Elderly Waiver Customized Living.

The grant RFP states (on Page 7, Section B. Proposal Requirements, Paragraph 2. Description of the Applicant Agency) “…include a brief history of your organization, information on the assisted living setting(s) geographic area served, the address of the project site(s), and the number of total people served within each setting.” 

There is no limitation on how many or which customized living locations a provider agency can include in its proposal. The proposal should clearly identify which of the provider’s settings are included in the proposal, and for those settings, the number of EW participants served and the proportion of EW participants served as a percentage of people served in those settings. 

Q13: For proposals that require contractors are we required to provide the state with quotes from several contractors to support the amount in our budget proposal?
A13: The RFP does not require that responders provide the state with quotes from contractors or sub-contractors, only that these costs are documented in the budget.    

Q14: Are we allowed to submit more than one proposal for the same facility?
A14:  While there is no limit to the number of proposals a responder can submit for the same setting, we would encourage responders to combine their quality improvement projects for the same setting into a single proposal.

Q15: In the proposal do we need to specify when we would anticipate the grant disbursement if chosen or will the state determine which fiscal year the facility will get the disbursement? I noted that the state has set aside $500,000 per fiscal year of the grant.
A15: The state will determine, based on contract negotiations and timelines for disbursement of grant funds, during which fiscal year disbursements will occur. Please also refer to the answer to question 10.1 above.

Q16: Which License are we supposed to apply under?
A16: The grant RFP states (on Page 13, Section C. Required Statements, Paragraph 8. DHS Enrolled Provider): “The Responder must be an enrolled provider with DHS to provide Elderly Waiver customized living services. The Responder must submit a statement that attests that the provider is an enrolled provider, along with the DHS provider identification number. Based on this information, DHS will internally verify that the provider is enrolled.”

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