State Developmental Services Seeks Help in Risk Management

In a Request for Proposal, the California Department of Developmental Services is looking for a risk management contractor to assist in a variety of assessment and mitigation services.

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The state entity responsible for delivering services to the developmentally disabled is seeking assistance from IT vendors in the area of risk management.

The California Department of Developmental Services logo featuring the letters "DDS" to the left of the words "Department of Developmental Services."
In a Request for Proposal released May 6, the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is searching for a risk management contractor to assist it generally with “independent risk assessment and mitigation services.” Among the takeaways:

  • DDS monitors “special incident report (SIR) data” and employs a risk management contractor to provide “detailed analyses of SIR data from all 21 regional centers and report relevant data sets to each regional center and to DDS,” it said in the RFP. Its regional centers use statistical analyses from the contractor to “identify and respond to emerging issues and trends” locally. DDS uses the “statewide statistical analysis of SIR data” and related sets to ascertain “statewide priorities for risk management activities” and to direct its contractor in this area. Generally, the department is looking for a contractor to maintain its risk management system and to provide tools, training, technical support and data collection.
  • More specifically, DDS needs the contractor to maintain and refine components of its existing risk management system, including “conducting detailed statewide and regional center specific analysis of SIR data and related databases” such as Medi-Cal paid claims data to watch system performance. This analysis will center on “specific DDS and regional center priorities and monitoring activities,” track local and statewide activities and their effect on SIR rates and set new action priorities. The successful candidate must also deliver the tools, training, and technical support needed to help regional centers do local risk management activities including using the contractor’s analyses to find and act on trends and issues; set “regional center risk mitigation priorities” around SIR data; implement and evaluate initiatives on consumer health and safety; and support the DDS Quality Management Executive Committee via “risk management discovery activities and data analysis.”
  • Specific contractor activities will include: on non-mortality SIR data, use statistical risk analysis to create regular trend reports that “compare the reported rates of special incidents among individuals served by DDS” to determine whether rates are within “an acceptable standard”; and to report semi-annually to DDS on populations “at higher risk of experiencing a special incident,” as well as develop “remediation strategies” to minimize those special incidents. On mortality SIR data, DDS wants the contractor to compare mortality rates between populations served and comparable groups; and “establish and implement a statewide internal mortality review process” that may “complement the review conducted by the regional center mortality review committees” and provide them recommendations. In the area of education and training, activities include providing training and resources to “regional centers, their vendors, and contracted direct support providers”; and maintaining and enhancing the DDS SafetyNet website, including publishing new content quarterly on reducing and preventing risks, and providing access to “an online multi-language translation service.” The contractor will also provide analysis on the numbers of individuals “who have transitioned or are transitioning from state developmental centers to the community ... .”
  • Respondents’ minimum qualifications include at least five years of experience in risk management and the “ability to assist in the further development and refinement of a comprehensive risk management system to enhance the health, safety, and well-being of consumers”; specialized risk management expertise; “exceptional” research and data analysis skills; experience “translating scientific data and research into unbiased, factual language”; and expertise in generating web and newsletter content. The contractor must employ professionals with expertise in areas including developmental disabilities, morbidity and mortality causal analysis, and knowledge of the California Developmental Service System.
  • The contract’s exact value is not stated; however, the cost of all “tasks and milestones” is not to exceed $1.2 million per fiscal year. The contract term is three years, from July 1 or thereabouts to June 30, 2024. Written or emailed questions are due by 3 p.m. Friday with responses coming Monday. Proposals are due by 3 p.m. May 21 and will be opened and scored May 25-26. A notice of intent to award is expected June 1 and the proposed award date is June 9.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.