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New Provider Information

pdf.gif New Provider Application  

Prospective Provider Selection Process

Pre-Contract Overview 

The initial contact by all prospective service providers should be made with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) program offices.  They will determine their need for your services.  The program office will then notify the Office of Administrative and Information Management Services (AIMS) that a human service organization would like to contract with the DHS.

AIMS obtains organizational and financial information from the prospective provider.

AIMS reviews the information and, if necessary, visits the prospective provider to review supporting documentation and accounting records.

AIMS notifies the program office deputy director if the prospective provider has met the financial criteria to become a service provider.

The program office reviews prospective providers for the following:

  • Service Activities
  • Service Qualifications
  • Licensing
  • Pricing

A Request for Proposal (RFP) or Provider Application including an Internal Control Questionnaire is submitted by prospective providers and reviewed by the program office.

The completion and submission of a new provider application does not guarantee a contract with the Department of Human Services.

Application Process 

DHS outlines the following procedures for human services organizations seeking to contract with DHS as a provider agency.

  • Initial contact should be made with the deputy director of the appropriate DHS program office: Area Agency on Aging (AAA); Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) for mental health and drug and alcohol services; Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF); Office of Community Services (OCS) and Office of Intellectual Disability (OID). Because DHS service provision often crosses programmatic lines, contact with more than one program office may be necessary. A prospective provider may wish to ask one program office to coordinate such contacts.
  • AIMS provides information on the fiscal and contract requirements for agencies seeking to have a contract with DHS.
  • The program office reviews service needs, program requirements, fund availability and other information related to program development.
  • Prospective providers formally supply written, detailed documentation of their proposed services.
    • Agencies must complete the Provider Application including the Internal Control Questionnaire and provide the necessary disclosure of information for review OR
    • With certain state/federal funds, new service providers are procured through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process. These RFP's are advertised through the DHS web site.

Proposals are reviewed by any combination of the following: internal staff, external practitioners and review panels. The proposals are rated on various criteria, both programmatic and fiscal. This rating and review process identifies qualified providers who are able to provide their services within a ceiling rate. When there is uniqueness to a service and/or when only one qualified vendor responds to an RFP, the program office may need to get approval from the state/federal funder to enter into the contract.

Once DHS selects a prospective provider that meets required, identified criteria for service provision, a more detailed examination of that provider follows.

  • AIMS will issue a letter to the provider indicating that the agency has met the criteria for admission to the contract process. This does not guarantee that funds will automatically be available.
  • The appropriate program office(s) will then consult with the prospective provider regarding the current need for their services and the availability of funds to actually implement a contract with the provider. 
  • AIMS will review the financial information submitted by the prospective provider which will be presented to the program office for a subsequent review and approval.
  • Upon approval by the DHS director, AIMS will continue to consult with the prospective provider for the implementation of a contract. Contract implementation continues to be contingent on the need for provider services and available funding, as determined by the program office.
  • The prospective provider will be issued a contract, based on the funding levels recommended by the program office.
  • The prospective provider will receive technical assistance as needed from DHS for various areas of contract compliance.
  • The prospective provider must submit all information as required with the initial contract in order for the contract to be executed.
  • No payment to the agency can be made until the contract is fully executed.

Note: If at any time during the review and approval process, additional information is obtained about the agency which might cause serious concern regarding the programmatic or financial status of the agency; DHS reserves the right to further investigate these concerns before proceeding with a contract.

Selection and Allocation 

Allocation Process:

Contracts with providers are funded based upon the need for services, budget submitted and available funding for the services from the Human Services funding sources. New grants or funding for specific programs are allocated by each program office based upon providers being able to fill these needs within a specified budget.

Budget guidelines or allocation limits are provided to the prospective provider by the program office for their submission of the application, RFP or continuing contract.

Contract renewals are evaluated based the next years funding availability, the previous year's budget and the various monitoring reports. This is weighed against continuing need for the service and how effective the service was in relation to the budget.

After the budget and pricing of services is returned from the providers, the budgetary information is reviewed by DHS and final adjustments made, if necessary, before a contract is awarded


Contracting with a service provider is done on a yearly basis. Procedures for renewal of service provider agreements follow a review process and require input from program, fiscal, contracting and administrative staff.

If a program receives a positive evaluation (by meeting or exceeding performance standards and other criteria) it is re-funded for the following year at a level determined by the evaluation results and fund availability. The amount for funding is based on the programming work statement and budget request.

Additional criteria utilized for evaluation/renewal of existing service providers includes: review of monitoring reports prepared throughout the year, timely submittal of monthly programmatic reports and effective utilization of funding.