FOR-NY has long advocated for treatment on demand. This month, OASAS issued a Request for Applications (RFAs) for establishing Open Access Centers throughout New York State. The centers will deliver immediate engagement, assessment and referral services to people suffering from substance use disorders.  Although this is by no means a replacement for Emergency Room treatment, it is an opportunity for people who have overdosed or who need help related to their addiction, to receive support services without the same restrictions and frequent push-back that we know they are receiving in a general hospital setting.

The RFA will provide up to $450,000 per awarded applicant to support the development of an Open Access Center.  Funding may be used for capital costs.  OASAS will award one Open Access Center in each of the following New York State Economic Development Zones: Western New York; Finger Lakes; Southern Tier; Mohawk Valley; North Country; Capital Region; Mid-Hudson; New York City; and Long Island

 Open Access Centers are to be open 24 hours a day, seven days per week, and include a staff that can immediately engage with individuals, family members and/or law enforcement.  Staff should be available or on-call to provide an immediate assessment and referral (and “warm-handoff”) to the appropriate level of care.  The goal of the Open Access Center is to refer those suffering from addiction and requiring addiction treatment services and interventions to a “full continuum of addiction services and interventions.”

Eligible Applicants include: County Local Government Units planning to directly provide the services required in the RFA, and Not-for Profit agencies

Funding Stream: Funding will be allocated to successful applicants through the county. In the case of successful applicants from New York City, funding will be allocated through New York City). In cases where the applicant is an existing OASAS direct contract provider, OASAS will provide the funding directly to the successful applicant.

Sustainability: Successful applicants must be able to begin operation within six months of receiving the award.  It is also expected that the program will be self-sustaining within one year of beginning operations.

Program Requirements

  • Location: Applicants must identify a local, accessible, community based location (not a hospital). This location should be community friendly.
  • Staffing: Applicants must show ability to staff the location 24/7
  • Screening: Applicants must show staff ability to use OASAS screening tools
  • Community Relationships: Applicants must demonstrate strong referral relationships and ability to develop new, necessary referral relationships
  • Peers: Applicants must show ability to connect with Peers and ability to work with Peers to develop outreach plans
  • Sustainability Plan: Applicants must demonstrate ability to collect insurance reimbursement through “Part 822” as well as other means of becoming self-sustaining

Staffing Requirements

  • Existing OASAS providers in accordance with “Part 822” must be involved in the development of Open Access Centers in order to ensure Medicaid and other insurance reimbursement capacity.
  • Open Access Centers must be staffed with individuals capable of performing assessments, making level of care determinations and referring participants.
  • Peers should be utilized and should be Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA) or such Peers should be supported on the path to becoming CRPA.
  • Staff must be trained in cultural competency
  • Staff must undergo a criminal background check

Performance Requirements

  • Performance data must be collected and submitted to OASAS
  • Applicants must have a plan of how client rights/client confidentiality will be addressed by the Open Access Center

Application Submission Requirements

  • All applicants must include a at least one letter of agreement from an OASAS Certified Part 822 provider attesting that such Provider will actively participate in providing services to individuals at the Open Access Centers. Preference will be given to applicants who can provide multiple letters of agreement.
  • Applicants that are not a Local Government Unit (LGU) or the NYC Department of Health and Mental Health (NYCDOHMH) must provide a Letter of Support from the LGU or the NYCDOHMH if
    • They are an applicant outside of New York City and they are not the Local Government Unit. (Must provide a letter of support from the LGU)
    • They are an applicant within New York City and are not NYCDOHMH. (Must provide a letter of support from the NYCDOHMH)

Prequalification: Applicants need to be prequalified in the NYS Grants Gateway in order to apply for this RFA.  Applicants should plan to be prequalified or to update their prequalification if necessary at least two weeks before the due date.  For information on becoming prequalified go here.  For information on maintaining prequalified status, go here.  Questions about the prequalification process should be directed to [email protected].

Application narratives should be no more than 25 pages, not including attachments. This is crucial as NYS has rejected applications for not adhering to page requirements.

Submission: Final submissions are to be delivered by 5:00 PM EST on October 31, 2017 and should be mailed to the following address:

Karen C. Stackrow
Division of Fiscal Administration
Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
1450 Western Avenue, 5th Floor
Albany, New York 12203-3526

The cover of the sealed envelope should be labeled: “RFA #17100—Open Access Centers.” Responses will not be accepted by electronic mail or facsimile.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact FOR-NY’s Director of Policy, Allison Weingarten at [email protected].