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October 20, 2021

NYS DOH Hosts Webinar on the Availability of Funds for Residential Health Care and Other Providers

On October 14, 2021, the NYS Department of Health (DOH) Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management hosted a webinar for Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program III (Statewide III) applicants. As we previously detailed in our October 5, 2021, alert, the DOH and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) announced on September 30, 2021, that certain health care providers are eligible to apply for capital funds through Statewide III (Request for Applications (RFA) #18406).

The presentation provided an overview of the application process and addressed topics including the grant’s intent and purpose, eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria, and grant award determinations. The DOH also gave information on Grants Gateway, the enterprise system that must be used to submit applications for Statewide III funding. Key takeaways from the DOH’s presentation include:

  • Applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on January 12, 2022. Applicants should begin preparing their submissions well in advance of the due date and are highly encouraged to submit completed applications at least 48 hours in advance to allow for assistance or corrective action if there are technical issues with the submission process. The Grants Gateway administrators have never permitted any exceptions to missed submission deadlines.
  • All eligibility requirements for applicants must be met, and applicants must have appropriate licenses or certifications at the time the application is submitted. Applicants should confirm the operating type listed on their specific operating certificate or license to ensure that applicable eligibility requirements have been met.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a robust description of the proposed project and the justifications for the project and expenses. The applicant’s overall approach or vision for the health care transformation activities, including project elements, costs, and how the specific funding request will help achieve the transformation, should be set out clearly and in as much detail as possible. 
  • Applicants should remember that the reviewers may not be familiar with the applicant’s agency or the services they provide. Answers to application questions should be specific, succinct, and respond to the questions asked.
  • Certificate of need approval is not needed at the time of application submission.
  • Although start-up operating expenses directly connected to an eligible project are considered eligible expenses, the expenses are considered on a limited basis until operating revenue can support expenses and will be determined by reviewers on a case-by-case basis.
  • Statewide III grant funds cannot be used to pay for costs incurred prior to the contract date. Only allowable expenses incurred on or after contract execution are permitted.
  • The DOH recognizes that the value of a project may exceed available funds, and applicants who do not have access to alternative funding but whose project otherwise meets the RFA criteria will be given preference.
  • After review by the review team, applications will be assigned to the tiers of good, acceptable, poor, or not responsive based on the evaluation criteria. The review team will make award recommendations to the commissioner of health, and funding awards and amounts are made at the commissioner’s discretion.
  • The DOH anticipates that the amount of project requests will significantly exceed available funds. If there are not enough funds to support all applications in a tier, the review team will consider the geographic distribution of funds as a tiebreaker. Applications should specify the geographic location of the project. If no geographic location is provided, the DOH will look to the location of the applicant’s corporate office.
  • Grant awards are made on a discretionary basis. Decisions to award, to not award, or to award a grant at a funding level less than the amount requested are not appealable. 
  • Prior grant applicants will not be given the opportunity to receive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their previous applications for funding. According to the RFA, the DOH has the sole discretion to determine whether to provide the opportunity to request a debriefing to unsuccessful applicants, and these debriefings have not been offered as part of any of the statewide grant programs due to the high number of applicants. 

Webinar participants were encouraged to submit questions to statewide3@health.ny.gov by October 28, 2021. Questions will be answered and published by the DOH in a questions and answers document. The questions and answers document will be posted on or around November 30, 2021. Importantly, the DOH clarified that it cannot respond to individual questions during the procurement period. 

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert or Request for Applications #18406, please contact Melissa Zambri, Health & Human Services Providers Co-Team Leader, at mzambri@barclaydamon.com; Mary Connolly, associate, at mconnolly@barclaydamon.com; Dena DeFazio, associate, at ddefazio@barclaydamon.com; or another member of the firm’s Health & Human Services Providers Team.

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