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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 464-D
Program established
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 8
§ 464-d. Program established. 1. The commissioner is authorized to
establish within the department a rural human services networking
program, for the purpose of assisting human services providers in rural
areas who seek to participate in the program as hereinafter provided, to
develop pilot projects to address intense social problems through the
creation of contracts or joint or cooperative agreements. Such pilot
projects shall capitalize on the strength of existing providers by
promoting the sharing of resources and service delivery in rural areas,
with the goal of reducing total cost to both consumers and providers
while increasing the availability and accessibility of human services in
such areas. Pilot projects shall also serve to identify methods of
overcoming impediments to the joint provision of integrated and
cost-effective human services in rural areas.

2. Within one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this
article, the commissioner, with the advice and guidance of the advisory
committee, shall establish and give public notice of the existence of
the rural human services networking program, and the availability of
competitive grants to human services providers interested in undertaking
pilot projects pursuant to the provisions of this article. At that time
the commissioner shall also distribute information on such program, and
application forms and procedures to eligible human services providers.

3. In order to implement the rural human services networking program
the commissioner shall, within the amounts appropriated therefor,
provide grants to eligible applicants on a competitive basis. No grant
for a pilot project shall be awarded by the commissioner unless the
application for such grant has been reviewed by state agencies which
license or certify the applicant agencies and any comments on such
proposals are considered by the commissioner. To be eligible for a grant
under this article, each application shall be submitted pursuant to a
contract or joint or cooperative agreement on behalf of two or more
local or regional human services providers intending to implement a
pilot project in a rural area. Applications shall be submitted to the
commissioner on such forms and at such times as the commissioner shall
prescribe, and completed applications shall be approved or disapproved
within ninety days of submission. In the event the commissioner
determines that a grant application is incomplete, or where waivers of
any regulations are requested by an applicant, the commissioner shall
have an additional ninety days to act upon such application.

4. In determining whether an application shall be approved and funds
awarded pursuant to this article, the commissioner shall give priority
consideration to applications received from human services providers
intending to implement a pilot project in the most sparsely populated
rural areas, as shall be previously determined by the commissioner, in
conjunction with the advisory committee. In addition, the commissioner
shall consider, but such consideration shall not be limited to, the
following:

a. The specific objectives and description of the proposed pilot
project, including demonstrated awareness of the level of human services
currently being provided within the service area;

b. The degree to which the proposed pilot project would meet local or
regional human services needs;

c. The demonstrated ability of the applicants to undertake the pilot
project;

d. The contribution the project would make toward the identification
and development of innovative delivery systems;

e. The degree to which the proposal would enhance the delivery or
improve the availability and accessibility of services with respect to
the full continuum of human services needs;

f. The degree to which continuity of care would be fostered and
improved;

g. The degree to which the proposal would enhance cost efficiency and
access to human services by populations in need of such services;

h. The degree to which information sharing, communication, and
cooperation between providers and consumers would be fostered;

i. The degree to which economies of scale in both the supply and
demand of services would be addressed;

j. The demonstrated level of commitment and support for the project
expressed by the community, local government body or bodies, and other
local or regional human services providers;

k. The impact the proposed pilot project will have on state agencies
providing services or funds for human services programs in the area, as
determined by the commissioner after consulting with such agencies;

l. The consistency of the proposed pilot project with the provisions
of article forty-one of the mental hygiene law; and

m. Any potential loss of funds or state or federal aid to which
providers may now be entitled, including but not limited to medicaid
funds, and the actions to be taken by the applicant and by the
commissioner to ensure the continuation of the same amount of funds or
aid.

5. The commissioner or his or her duly authorized representative may
meet with representatives of the applicants for the informal discussion
of preliminary and informal plans for a proposed project and may provide
such technical assistance as may be requested to implement an approved
project.

6. Pilot projects shall be approved for a time period not to exceed
three years. Within the amounts appropriated therefor, the commissioner
shall approve pilot project grant awards of not less than ten thousand
dollars nor more than fifty thousand dollars per pilot project in any
one calendar year. Such grants may be renewed annually for up to three
consecutive years, subject to the availability of funds. Funds awarded
to each recipient in the second and third years may be the same amount
as the grant received in the first year, or may be a lesser amount, with
the amounts of such awards determined in accordance with the nature of
the approved pilot project, the number of delivery and consumer
agencies, and the number of clients to be served. If the commissioner
determines that a grant is being used for purposes other than those
which are in conformity with this article, the commissioner may withdraw
approval of the project and require repayment of all or part of such
grant to the state. The commissioner shall cause reports to be prepared
and submitted for each project by the grantees at such times and in such
manner as are consistent with the purposes of this article.

7. For the purpose of promoting innovative approaches and maximum
effectiveness in the utilization of state and local monies, and
notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the commissioner may waive
any departmental regulations that may impede the successful
implementation and testing of a pilot project, provided that there is a
finding by the commissioner that the general welfare of the people
receiving human services will not be impaired. In addition, the
commissioner shall consult with federal, state, and local officials with
respect to securing their cooperation in coordinating related programs
and in seeking necessary regulatory waivers, in order to assure the
effective operation of any pilot project. Notwithstanding any other
provisions of law, at the request of the commissioner, on behalf of an
applicant, the commissioner or director of any other state agency or
department shall be authorized to waive any applicable regulations of
such agency or department that may impede the successful implementation
of a pilot project, provided there is a finding that the general welfare
of the people receiving human services will not be impaired.

8. Upon the request of an applicant, the commissioner or his or her
duly authorized representative may render to such applicant such
technical services and assistance as the department may possess or as
may be available to it in order to enable the applicant to carry out the
project and terms of such contract.