It's that time of year again...RFP Season!
When it comes to school-based Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy, most school districts have two options: employing in-house therapy staff or outsourcing. A well-planned, written, and executed Request for Proposal (RFP) can be a game changer when it comes to finding a solution partner that understands your district's goals, pain points, and outcomes needed to ensure you continue to deliver on your mission. Whether you're a seasoned pro or you've recently made the decision to try outsourcing related services for the first time, you may be navigating the RFP process. We know this can be a daunting task at times -- so we are here to help! We've pulled together a list of questions to ask yourself before you start the RFP process, which will point you in the right direction for a stronger and more effective school-based therapy program.
Here are 9 key questions to ask yourself before issuing an RFP for school-based therapy services.
1. Are you looking for therapy staffing or a Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Program? Let your vendors know if you're seeking a short-term solution to therapy staffing issues or a true therapy program that combines expertise, oversight, management and value-added services.
2. Have you established if you need a therapy provider that specializes in Special Education programming? Consider the difference between the Clinical and Educational models of therapy. Current best practice calls for highly trained therapists in the educational model of therapy to use this model in school settings.
3. Who currently provides management, oversight, and staff development to your therapists? Emphasize that oversight of the therapy program is expected for quality assurance of services. Your therapy partner may eliminate the need for an in-house Coordinator.
4. Have you outlined your expectations for ongoing training and professional development of therapy staff? Ongoing education should be a key element of any therapy company's approach to following industry best practice.
5. Are you emphasizing the special education populations unique to your district that may require specialty programs? Taking time to address the specific special education demographics of your district will give vendors the opportunity to present related core topics and programs.
6. Do you require electronic delivery of therapy schedules and documentation? What kind of reporting capabilities are needed? Detail your current process and expectations for the vendor to adapt or improve it.
7. Does your district currently participate in Medicaid reimbursement programs? If yes, are your current therapists certified for billing? Be clear about your requirements as your chosen therapy partner may provide Medicaid billing support and/or management.
8. Do your current therapists help identify new and innovative Assistive Technology solutions? Know the strengths and weaknesses of your AT program. Your chosen therapy partner may provide improved access to expertise, tools, and strategy.
9. Is it important to you to retain current therapy staff? Your therapy partner may interview current staff for potential employment opportunities.
Taking the time to consider these questions now can lead to a more efficient bid process, and a deeper understanding of the scope of the Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy program that would most benefit your students.
Are you in the process of issuing an RFP for school-based Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy services? Invite STARS to submit a bid, or request a proposal and analysis of your therapy program below.
Ready to issue an RFP for Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy services and want to use our cheat sheet? Click here to view this post as a PDF.
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