DDS Contracts With D&S

Caitlin Russell filed this request with the Department of Developmental Services of Massachusetts.
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Communications

From: Caitlin Russell

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all contracts between the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and D&S Diversified Technologies LLP

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Caitlin Russell

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com

Dear Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your October 17, 2016 facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") in which you requested, pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, § 10, copies of:

Any and all contracts between the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and D&S Diversified Technologies, LLP.

Your facsimile to DDS noted that you originally submitted your request on October 6, 2016. Please note, DDS did not receive your request until after business hours on October 17, 2016. Your request was also subsequently received via the Department's Records Access Officer portal on October 21, 2016.

Department personnel are in the process of searching for and/or identifying public records responsive to your request and subject to disclosure. At this time, DDS does not expect there will be a fee assessed for the cost of responding to your request. I will contact you as soon as possible should there be a fee associated with responding to your request. Your request to DDS did not include a telephone number where you could be reached. Please feel free to contact me at (617) 624-7717 if you have any questions or wish to clarify your request. Finally, in your request to DDS you asked that documents be provided in an accessible format, including for screen readers utilizing text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. DDS will provide documents in the requested format(s) to the extent possible; however, some documents may not be maintained by the Department or available in the format(s) sought in your request.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you wish to challenge this response to your public record request you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedures set forth in 950 CMR 32.08.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 624-7717

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Dear Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your October 17, 2016 facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") in which you requested, pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, § 10, copies of:

Request Item 1: All contracts between the Department of Developmental Services and private providers as listed on [the DDS] Provider List . . . including those with residential programs, schools, vocational training facilities, day-habs, etc.; and

Request Item 2: Any records documenting the number of 'medication occurrences' that have occurred at DDS contracted providers' facilities from 1995 to the most recent year for which numbers are available.

Your facsimile to DDS noted that you originally submitted your request on September 22, 2016. Please note, DDS did not receive your request until after business hours on October 17, 2016. DDS's responses to your requests is set forth below:

DDS Response to Request Item 1:
A search for and production of documents responsive to your expansive request for "all contracts between DDS and private providers" would be burdensome for the Department to produce and extremely costly to you. The Department estimates that a search for, and production of, all active contracts between DDS and its private providers would require over 140 hours of staff time in five separate DDS offices to locate and reproduce responsive documents. The Department would assess a fee of $25.00/hour to cover the cost of production of responsive records to you. Additional charges for staff time necessary to review the records to redact confidential information, and the actual cost of any electronic media with which to produce the responsive records to you would also need to be assessed. Finally, in your request you asked that documents be provided in an accessible format, including for screen readers utilizing text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. DDS will provide documents in the requested format(s) to the extent possible; however, some documents may not be maintained by the Department or available in the format(s) sought in your request.

Your request to DDS did not include a telephone number where you could be reached. Please contact me at (617) 624-7717 at your earliest convenience so that we may discuss your request and clarify it as necessary.

DDS Response to Request Item 2:
Department personnel are in the process of searching for and/or identifying public records that are responsive to your request and subject to disclosure. The Department may be the custodian of some records within the time period of your request that are responsive and subject to disclosure as they do not include any confidential DDS client information. If responsive, these documents may be provided to you without redaction. DDS estimates that the time needed to produce such records would not exceed four hours and does not expect there will be a fee assessed for the cost of responding to Request Item 2. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that we may discuss your request and confirm whether such documents are responsive.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you wish to challenge this response to your public record request you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedures set forth in 950 CMR 32.08.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 624-7717

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Dear Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your October 17, 2016 facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") and in follow-up to my October 26, 2016 electronic mail to you. Your facsimile to DDS requested, pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, § 10, copies of:

Any and all contracts between the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and D&S Diversified Technologies LLP.

Attached, please find documents responsive to your request. The attached documents consist of a copy of the contract and contract amendments between DDS and D&S Diversified Technologies, LLP for administration and management of the Medication Administration Program ("MAP") Certification and Recertification for Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, and Department of Developmental Services programs. Please note that confidential information, including personal data as defined by G.L. c. 66A and/or personal information as defined by G.L. c. 93H, has been redacted from the attached documents. Such information is confidential and exempt from the Massachusetts Public Records Law. G.L. c. 4, § 7(26)(a)("statutory exemption"). The Request for Responses ("RFR") related to this contract is publicly available at no cost at the Massachusetts Operational Services Division's COMMBUYS website at: https://www.commbuys.com/bso/external/bidDetail.sdo?docId=S123381-vCurrent&external=true&parentUrl=bid. The time spent searching for documents responsive to your request and redacting confidential information contained therein was less than four hours. Therefore, there is no fee associated with responding to your request.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you wish to challenge this response to your Public Records Request you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedures set forth in 950 CMR 32.08.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 624-7717

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Good morning Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") dated September 22, 2016 which was not received by DDS until October 17, 2016. In a follow-up facsimile received by the Department on November 7, 2016 you requested DDS advise you "when [you] can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed."

I responded to your facsimile on October 27, 2016, and due to the large costs involved to respond to your request (estimated to be at-least $3,500.00 in collection costs alone), I asked that you contact me at your earliest convenience so that we could discuss your request and clarify it as needed (see October 27th Response below). Your request to DDS did not include a telephone number where you could be reached. In my October 27th response I advised that DDS may be the custodian of documents potentially responsive to your request that could likely be provided without charge, and I asked that you contact me so that we could confirm that such documents would be responsive.

Please contact me at (617) 624-7717 at your convenience so that we may clarify your request.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 624-7717

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Good morning Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") dated September 22, 2016 which was not received by DDS until October 17, 2016. In a follow-up facsimile received by the Department on November 7, 2016 you requested DDS advise you "when [you] can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed."

I responded to your facsimile on October 27, 2016, and due to the large costs involved to respond to your request (estimated to be at-least $3,500.00 in collection costs alone), I asked that you contact me at your earliest convenience so that we could discuss your request and clarify it as needed (see October 27th Response below). Your request to DDS did not include a telephone number where you could be reached. In my October 27th response I advised that DDS may be the custodian of documents potentially responsive to your request that could likely be provided without charge, and I asked that you contact me so that we could confirm that such documents would be responsive.

Please contact me at (617) 624-7717 at your convenience so that we may clarify your request.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 624-7717

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Good morning Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") dated September 22, 2016 which was not received by DDS until October 17, 2016. In a follow-up facsimile received by the Department on November 7, 2016 you requested DDS advise you "when [you] can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed."

I responded to your facsimile on October 27, 2016, and due to the large costs involved to respond to your request (estimated to be at-least $3,500.00 in collection costs alone), I asked that you contact me at your earliest convenience so that we could discuss your request and clarify it as needed (see October 27th Response below). Your request to DDS did not include a telephone number where you could be reached. In my October 27th response I advised that DDS may be the custodian of documents potentially responsive to your request that could likely be provided without charge, and I asked that you contact me so that we could confirm that such documents would be responsive.

Please contact me at (617) 624-7717 at your convenience so that we may clarify your request.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 624-7717

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Ms. Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com

Dear Ms. Russell:

I am writing in response to your October 17, 2016 facsimile to the Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") and in follow-up to our November 14, 2016 telephone conversation. In your facsimile you requested, pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, § 10, copies of:

Request Item 1: All contracts between the Department of Developmental Services and private providers as listed on [the DDS] Provider List . . . including those with residential programs, schools, vocational training facilities, day-habs, etc.; and

Request Item 2: Any records documenting the number of 'medication occurrences' that have occurred at DDS contracted providers' facilities from 1995 to the most recent year for which numbers are available.

DDS Response to Request Item 1:
During our November 14th discussion regarding the high fee that would need to be assessed to you to produce all contracts between DDS and private providers, you narrowed your request to seek only the contracts pertaining to "residential services" that DDS has with private provider agencies. At this time, my best estimate of the cost for the search and collection of responsive documents, excluding additional costs for review and redaction of confidential or exempt information contained therein, is $2,625.00, and includes a charge for approximately 105 hours of staff time in five separate DDS business offices to locate and reproduce responsive documents. The Department would assess a fee of $25.00/hour to cover the cost of production of responsive records to you. An additional charge of $875.00 for an estimated 35 hours of staff time (at $25.00/hour) necessary to review records and redact confidential information would also be assessed.

If you wish for DDS to proceed with responding to your request please send a check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the amount of $3,500.00, noting on the check that it concerns a public records request and send it to my attention at the address below. Please note that this amount is a good faith estimate only and may be subject to revision if actual time or production costs vary materially. DDS will notify you of the final actual costs prior to providing the records to you, so costs may be reconciled, if necessary.

As we discussed, information relevant to DDS's payments to private provider agencies is publicly available on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Comptroller's CTHRU Open Records Platform at: http://www.mass.gov/comptroller/cthru/ and/or the Massachusetts Open Checkbook website at: http://opencheckbook.itd.state.ma.us/analytics/saw.dll?Dashboard.

DDS Response to Request Item 2:
During our November 14th telephone call I advised you that data on statewide medication occurrence reporting for all providers, that includes no confidential information pertaining to DDS clients, was available beginning in 2008 and could be provided to you at no cost and you agreed that this information would be responsive to your request. Attached, please find Medication Occurrence Report ("MOR") Summaries for the years 2008 to September 30, 2016 documenting the number and type of medication occurrences by year. Please note that the total number of medications administered per year by DDS providers under the Medication Administration Program during this period is estimated at between 36.9 million doses in 2008 to 41.9 million doses in 2015, dependent on the number of individuals served and number of medications prescribed in a particular year. In 2015, for example, the number of medication occurrences reported (5,833) represents approximately 0.014% of the total estimated 41.9 million doses of medication administered in that year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (617) 624-7717 if you have any questions or require additional information. The staff time necessary to search for and produce documents responsive to your request was less than four hours. Therefore, there is no fee associated with responding to your request. If you wish to challenge this response to your public record request you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedures set forth in 950 CMR 32.08.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

  • DDS_FollowUp_Resp_C.Russell_re_Contracts__Med_Occurences (Nov. 23, 201

From: Caitlin Russell

Hello,
The file listing medication occurrences is blank. Can you resend it please? Thanks!

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Ms. Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com

Dear Ms. Russell:
I am writing in response to your November 25, 2016 email below in which you indicated that the file I had sent you electronically on November 23rd listing medication occurrences was blank and asked that I re-send it to you. Please note, there was a single blank page following my cover letter to you (page 3) which separated the cover letter from the responsive documents; however, pages four through 21 were not blank and contained the information concerning medication occurrences. The copy of the letter with the attached medication occurrence reports that is posted and viewable on the MuckRock News web site at: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/massachusetts-1/mapping-mass-meds-dds-28436/ indicates that letter and the attachment were received.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (617) 624-7717 if you have any questions or require additional information.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

From: Caitlin Russell

Got it, sorry about that!

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Ms. Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Good afternoon Ms. Russell:

I’m writing in response to your email from earlier today (December 16, 2016) concerning the Public Records Requests you submitted to the Department of Developmental Services (“DDS”). Can you please contact me at your earliest convenience at (617) 624-7717 so that we may discuss? I believe I have responded to your requests in our communications below but have been unable to reach you at the telephone number you provided to confirm. In an earlier communication you initially indicated that an attachment I had sent you was blank, but then later confirmed it had been received by you and I would like to confirm that you have received the responses DDS has forwarded to you.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,
James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

From: DDS.RAO (DDS)

Ms. Caitlin Russell
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Good afternoon Ms. Russell:

I’m writing in response to your email of December 16, 2016 concerning the Public Records Requests (“PRRs”) you submitted to the Department of Developmental Services (“DDS”) and in follow-up to my reply email to you of the same date. In my December 16th email I asked that you contact me as soon as possible as I believe DDS has responded to the PRRs you have submitted. To date, I have not heard back from you. If I do not hear back from you within the next 10 days I will report your PRRs as responded to, as further described below, and will mark them as closed.

The subject line of your December 16th email was: “Public Records Law Request: DDS Contracts with D&S”. In your December 16th email you requested DDS “let [you] know when [you could] expect to receive a response, or if further clarification [was] needed.” DDS responded to this PRR on November 3, 2016 and enclosed a copy of the contract and contract amendments between DDS and D&S Diversified Technologies for administration and management of the Medication Administration Program (“MAP”) Certification and Recertification. These materials were provided to you free of charge.

The subject line of the other PRR you submitted to DDS was: “Public Records Law Request: Mapping Mass. Meds: DDS” in which you requested information on medication occurrences at DDS contract provider facilities. In this PRR you additionally requested copies of all contracts between DDS and its contracted providers; a request which was subsequently limited to residential contracts following our November 14th telephone discussion. DDS responded to this PRR on November 23, 2016 and enclosed medication occurrence summary reports for the years 2008 through 2016. DDS responded to a follow-up request from you related to medication occurrences on December 1, 2016 and enclosed copies of the DDS Quality Assurance Reports for the years 2001 through 2007 which included data on medication occurrences. These materials were also provided to you free of charge.

Finally, DDS’s November 23, 2016 letter to you provided a cost estimate of $3,500 for the fee to respond to your request for all residential contracts between DDS and contract providers. The Department directed you to forward payment in this amount if you wished for DDS to proceed with responding to your request. To date, the Department has not received payment from you, nor has DDS received a response to the December 16, 2016 email asking that you contact the Department to discuss your PRRs.

As noted in my December 16th email to you, DDS believes it has responded to the PRRs you have submitted. If I do not hear back from you within the next 10 days I will report your PRRs as responded to, as described above, and will mark them as closed.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (617) 624-7717 if you would like to discuss DDS’s response(s) to your PRRs. If you wish to challenge this response to your Public Records Request you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedures set forth in 950 CMR 32.08.

Very truly yours,

James Bergeron, Assistant General Counsel
Records Access Officer
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

From: Ciccia, Robert (EHS)

Hello,

As we discussed on the phone, you are withdrawing your request filed at 2:07pm today. The email below memorializes that withdrawal.

If you have any questions regarding the public records process, please contact me.
Regards,

Robert A. Ciccia
Assistant General Counsel and Records Access Officer
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
617-573-1837

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