Single Source Procurement: Blinded Seroprevalence Study

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has conducted HIV seroprevalence studies since 1987. Since 2000, the state made HIV reporting a mandate and has since expanded its surveillance activities. The ability to implement and maintain an HIV surveillance system is vital to all facets of the NYSDOH's responsibilities in AIDS, from assessing human service needs to targeting prevention and education programs and shaping overall public health policy. Program areas have been selected to assess prevalence of HIV in specific populations to determine trends over time and/or to facilitate surveillance activities.

The identification and selection of these program areas are performed by the medical, scientific and research staff of NYSDOH, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology. Facilities are selected for participation in this effort based upon their geographic location, HIV/AIDS case load, type of service offered, ability to comply with detailed study protocols, and/or their overall ability to best serve the needs of this important research project. Since this is an epidemiologic study, as defined by Public Health Law section 2441 (2), particular care must be devoted to assuring the complete anonymity of the client population. In addition, we are limited by the nature of HIV seroprevalence to using only leftover blood which is drawn for other diagnostic purposes and which would otherwise be discarded. We can, therefore, only enlist for participation those facilities which routinely drawn patients' blood for other purposes.

In collaboration with the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), NYSDOH has conducted an anonymous HIV seroprevalence study among incoming inmates. Our study specimens are collected only as a byproduct of the prison health care system and involve only a small sample of specially selected new prisoner cohorts. Whoever DOCCS chooses to provide system wide lab testing services over the years will always be the NYSDOH vendor of necessity because that lab will be the only entity gathering prisoner blood specimens for normal care and treatment of the incarcerated population. Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc., under contract with the NYS DOCCS, is the sole provider of laboratory services as a result of DOCCS' RFP competitive bid process. The Department of Health requested and recived approval of a Contract Reporter Exemption Request to write a new 5-year contract with Bio-Reference in order to continue running the inmate study.

DOCCS issued an RFP in 2014 to re-solicit the funding for a new 5-year contract for testing inmate specimens. Bio-Reference was competitively selected as the new awardee with a new 5-year contract anticipated to begin 8/1/2015 through 7/31/20.

Procurement / Program Name Blinded Seroprevalence Study
Contractor Name(s) Bio Reference Laboratories, Inc.
Contract Period 8/1/2015 – 7/31/2020
Contract Number(s) C030564