RFP Questions and Answers
Clarification to questions heard during the Proposal Conference Call and questions submitted before April 7th are provided below.
Administrative Services / Support Staff
Is there funding allocated for benefits, healthcare, insurance, liability etc.?
Do the budget assumptions include office space for administrative staff?
What administrative costs will the PME assume?
Is there an office provided? Is there office space available for the admin?
Does the office have to be located in Helena?
Where is the central office located or where can it be located?
Would the PME need to fund office space?
The PME proposal should be inclusive of all administrative, office and benefit costs sufficient to operate/manage the program. There are no restrictions on where the PME’s office must be located. Review 3.2 – scope of services; 3.2.1, 3.2.2 and 5.1.
How many staff members are required per truck?
Both programs in the Dakotas routinely staff their trucks with a paramedic and nurse. However, the PME should propose staff commensurate with their operational plan.
Will the PME have the ability to outsource some of the services?
Outsourcing or subcontracting will be allowed upon board approval.
How many hours of simulation are required per week, per truck?
How many miles/locations might/will each truck cover per week?
Within the budget for contracted salaries and travel, optimal utilization of the trucks to provide extensive mobile simulation education throughout Montana is desired.
Educators / Drivers
It would be beneficial to the employee to have their salary come from one entity, either the state or the PME. Can the PME lease state employees for all activities to meet state-owned vehicle driving requirements but also reimburse the hours worked providing education?
While this is not possible, the Board will have policies and procedures to clarify and to simplify the process.
When drivers are state employees are they covered by state workers comp and liability?
Does MobileSim maintain the overall liability and the PME maintains worker’s comp expense when employing the educators?
Please clarify how workers comp, liability and auto/truck insurance will be handled.
Need to understand the state employee driving the trucks.
State rules require state vehicles to be driven by state employees. While driving, these employees will be covered for liability and other benefits. While performing other duties, they will be paid and covered by the PME. The Board will have polices and procedures to clarify and simplify to process.
What is the process and cost for Commercial Driver’s License as needed to drive the trucks?
Simulation Program Management
Will CME need to be State approved? What procedures does the State require for CME approval?
Who is responsible for the CME’s?
Who will be maintaining the programs Continuing Education Units accreditation and approvals.
Is the PME responsible to set the program up to meet State requirements to award Continuing Education for EMS and Nurses or will the education be approved by someone else?
There is a budget line item for CE. Initially, we would like the PME to coordinate with the North Dakota program to apply for CMEs for providers, either through their program directly or through entities Montana typically utilizes.
Are there any specific types of education that need to be delivered? For instance we see that they have worked with the AHA for heart attack and evaluation utilizing 12-lead. Would we need to deliver a specific type of training?
Attached is a report from North Dakota which describes a variety of preprogrammed scenarios that are already developed. CAE also has additional scenarios that come with the suite of manikins. Training which supports the Helmsley-funded STEMI and Cardiac Ready Community (cardiac arrest) grants will also be encouraged. The use of offerings that use already developed scenarios and meet the needs of each community will be core to MobileSim Montana. The PME will also be expected to establish a system of continuing education development and conduct that is compliant with the Section 3.2.3 of the RFP.
Sim ND Report
Will instructors need to be Montana credentialed or accredited?
Do instructors need to be state of Montana licensed and if so what is the process to do this and cost?
We're not finding any information that suggests instructors will have to be state-licensed in order to provide this education.
Will it be possible for the PME to also work with tribal communities for partnerships and education?
All communities, programs and providers are eligible for the MobileSim Montana. Working with all communities will be an expectation.
Vehicles and Equipment
If there are restrictions related to state employees driving vehicles are there also restrictions on state employees maintaining state vehicles? What about state vehicles being maintained in independently owned sites?
The state will develop maintenance policies and procedures and schedules for routine and special maintenance. Additionally as the storage locations of the trucks become known, the state will arrange for locations in which the trucks will be serviced. The PME will have responsibility assuring that maintenance is completed.
Are the mannequins owned by the state and wouldn’t they have the same restrictions?
Yes, the manikins are owned by the state. However, The suite of manikins has a premier maintenance package for three years. Maintenance and service will be done by the PME as much as possible or otherwise as recommended by the vendor.
Are there minimum requirements for vehicle maintenance and storage? (indoors, heated, etc.)? Please clarify expectations.
Vehicle maintenance will follow vendor recommendations and a program similar to service provided for comparable vehicles owned by the state. The manikins and other associated equipment are sensitive to extremes in temperature. Enclosed and secure storage is desired. Review section 3.2.4.
If the state owns the trucks/mannequins, could they be contracted for maintenance and storage?
What will the annual maintenance cost of the trucks and equipment be?
Who will be responsible for the maintenance of the trucks?
What is the estimated annual cost of truck maintenance and what is the warranty coverage?
Who is responsible for maintenance of the trucks, manikins and equipment?
As the vehicles and equipment have premium warranties and coverage for the next few years, initial maintenance should be minimal. Prior to establishing our own history of maintenance costs, some information about annual maintenance will be obtained from the Dakotas. There will be a line item budget for maintenance and repairs – initially through some grant funds and then through the MobileSim budget as time goes on. Policies will be established to guide ongoing maintenance checks. As PME staff will be routinely utilizing the trucks and equipment, the PME should describe in their proposal how they might be an engaged partner to minimize unnecessary repairs.
Could trucks be pre-positioned within the state?
Have they decided on the locations for the three trucks, or is that up to the PME?
Is there a specific logistical area that the trucks need to be positioned?
Where are the trucks located?
Who will decide where they will ultimately be stored?
Would MobileSim Montana be open for negotiation of the units being stored at state owned locations such as Transportation Maintenance offices throughout the state? Could we also leverage this for fuel (tax free/reduced cost) and maintenance?
While there have been discussions about the strategic placement of the trucks, no decisions have been made and MobileSim is interested in the PME’s proposal about this so that mutual agreement can be determined. While the trucks are state-owned, they are assigned to the Department and fuel, maintenance and repairs will be a department responsibility; initially through grants funds and later as part of the MobileSim budget.
Who is insurance (liability, etc.) for operations (equipment and personnel) managed by - the State while in operation (driving) and the PME when teaching?
When driving the trucks as state employees, liability coverage is covered by the state. Review 3.2 – Scope of Services and Section 5.1.
Operations, Budget, Financial Sustainability
Is it the expectation of the PME to control the entire budget as outlined in the RFP or just the portion related to PME Activities? If not what portions of the budget would MobileSim still maintain?
Budget assumptions described in 3.1.8 summarize what grant funding is available in specified categories. Review 5.1.1.
When employees of the PME are driving the truck and being paid by the state does that come out of the PME budget or the MobileSim Budget?
Where are funds derived from for drivers pay while acting as state employee?
The State will budget for payment of salaries for driving. The PME will be responsible paying the salaries for all other instructing and associated duties. The Board will have policies and procedures to clarify and to simplify the process.
If PME exceeds expectations on revenue or cost targets is there an incentive option?
The board will consider this during contract negotiations.
Is the Helmsley grant a fixed amount or a match of funds? In other words if the budget reduces by 1/3 each year can a reduction in operating expenses follow or does MobileSim have to spend 100% of the proposed budget to get 66% of its expenses covered by the grant?
How will the board handle salaries of PME staff as the grant monies decline?
The Helmsley grant is a fixed amount for each year. In order for the grant to maintain an appropriate level of funding and activity, sustainability planning, including sources of additional revenue, will need to occur. See Section 5.1.2 concerning the PME proposing potential income opportunities.
Is there any expectation that services provided to hospitals and ambulance services will be free or at a reduced cost at any time or will the PME/MobileSim charge for services right out of the gate.
What assumptions if any have been made by the hospitals and ambulances for paying for training?
Review 3.1.7. While operations are funded well in the first year, the program has to plan early for revenue that will meet decreasing funding in subsequent years. MobileSim is interested in the PME’s proposal for operations and potential revenue sources so that decisions can be made about this very important question.
Does the PME or MobileSim, Inc. have any advantage in any future state bids for health education or other services related to EMS, hospital, or any other health educational opportunities?
This would be dependent on the specific funding opportunity and its requirements.
How much governance will the board have that reaches into day-to-day operations? Will they have power to demand certain things when our operating plan states otherwise?
Review 3.1.9. MobileSim looks forward to a contractual relationship with a PME that can meet expectations and deliverables but does not require micromanagement of how deliverables are accomplished.
Who is ultimately responsible for the financial success of the project?
MobileSim, numerous stakeholders, and the PME will share an interest in the success and sustainability of this project. DPHHS became ultimately responsible when it submitted a proposal for Simulation in Motion and accepted funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.
What are the specific grant constraints in regards to the budget assumptions?
With Board and Helmsley approval, there is some flexibility to make changes among categories as appropriate.
Partnerships / Community Collaboration / Public Information
Are public relations and marketing the responsibility of the PME or MobileSim?
MobileSim and the PME will have a shared interest in public relations and marketing. The PME and their educational activities will largely be the face of MobileSim Montana in the field. Review 3.2.6
The RFP states “promotional events for up to three provider conferences”. Does PME or MobileSim, Inc. decide which conferences to attend?
The RFP provided Appendix B as an example of what deliverables the PME contract might contain. Frequent communications and mutual agreement on such activities will be negotiated.
Is there a budget for third party evaluators to collect data for the Helmsley Foundation? Is that still a requirement and is it from MobileSim, Inc. or the PME?
Review Section 3.1.8 about program evaluation budget assumptions. Section 3.1.9 – The PME will be responsible for development of program evaluations. This includes demonstrating that the program meets the student’s needs, but also demonstrates success of the program overall. Review Section 3.2.7. Review 5.1.1 relative to additional PME budget Items.
Who will be on the evaluation committee?
The Directors will select individuals to be on the evaluation committee.
What is the expected deadline and schedule for implementation of the MobileSim program?
As funding for this project has already been awarded, MobileSim will be attempting to conduct proposal reviews, interviews and a contract as expeditiously as possible. MobileSim desires education to be implemented as early as practical.
Clarify the 3-year contract period would begin on contract award.
Define mutually agreed renewal. Will this involve a new RFP process or be internally negotiated with the board.
The initial contract period will be for three years and will begin upon contract signing. Annual renewals will be negotiated between MobileSim and the PME. As an element of sustainability, MobileSim seeks to nurture a long term, contractual relationship.
How will the board evaluate responses that propose multiple solutions for a single item? By providing a variety of solutions will the PME receive point deductions?
Is it the preference of the board to receive multiple RFP’s which may only differ on a few points in the 3.2 section or to have multiple solutions presented for individual response requirements?
The PME is encouraged to be creative and to submit multiple solutions to a single item in one proposal. They will not receive point deductions providing their solutions adequately respond to the questions posed in 3.2.
Termination of contract - clarify process and required notification time to PME of boards intent to terminate contract.
Contract termination will be clarified in the contract. Specific conditions under which a contract can be terminated immediately include failure to perform, failure to respond to corrective actions and violations of law. The contract will also clarify termination for other, less-severe reasons, typically with 60 days written notice.
For a fixed price project what is the rationale for scoring based upon total cost.
The total cost of the project is an important consideration for the board in making an award determination. Having a finite amount of funding available for the project does not necessitate the prospective bidder propose using all of it in the way the current grant budget has been crafted.
Scoring of 5.1.1 (#39 in 6.2) will be deleted from the initial review of PME proposals and deferred to a discussion in the interview process.
Is there a typo at bottom of page 17 - Is it the intent of the RFP to ask for two-clarification points on qualitative or is one of these intended to be asking for quantitative measures?
These are two different factors that might be collected to help evaluate the program:
- 184.108.40.206 (#31) – describe how the PME might collect information to describe the student, EMS service, or hospital’s satisfaction with the program, instructors and education provided.
- 220.127.116.11 (#32) – describe how the PME might collect information about how the education changed the student’s knowledge and skill performance (e.g. pre- and post-course)