24.3 Principles of Purchasing

All purchases must be authorized by a counselor or his or her designee in the consumer’s valid Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP) and/or in a service justification case note. The IWRP and/or service justification case note must be entered into ReHabWorks before obligating funds with a service authorization.

24.3.2 Best Value Purchasing

A CRS staff member must apply the best-value purchasing approach when making consumer purchases. This approach ensures that staff members authorizing a purchase are not restricted to considering only the initial cost of a purchase; they must also evaluate the factors that will influence the total cost and value to the consumer and the agency.

These factors include but are not limited to:

  • installation costs;
  • warranties;
  • life-cycle costs;
  • quality and reliability;
  • delivery costs and terms;
  • timeliness of the delivery;
  • the cost of training associated with a purchase; and
  • indicators of probable provider performance (for example, the provider's past performance, financial resources, ability to perform, experience, responsibility, reputation, and ability to provide reliable maintenance and support).

24.3.3 Informed Consumer Choice

A consumer and the consumer’s representative, as appropriate, must be involved in decision making in all aspects of services for CRS for the consumer, including selecting the goods, services, and providers during the purchasing process.

You must document the consumer’s involvement in selection of goods, services, and/or providers in a case note.

For more information about informed choice, refer to Chapter 2: CRS Principles, 2.6 Principles of Informed Choice.


24.3.4 Use of Comparable Benefits

Available comparable benefits must be used prior to authorizing or encumbering CRS funds for a purchase.

Exploration and/or use of comparable benefits must be documented in a case note prior to completing a service authorization for a good or service.

24.3.5 Separation of Duties

A minimum of two staff members are required to complete—issue, receive and authorize payment— each consumer purchase to ensure that integrity is maintained throughout the purchasing process.

ReHabWorks (RHW) is designed so that the same person cannot authorize payment for a service authorization they created or made changes to at any point in the purchasing process.

24.3.1 Making Purchasing Decisions

The decision-making process should include consideration of:

  • the cost, accessibility, type, and duration of the services;
  • consumer satisfaction with the proposed services;
  • compliance of the providers with the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • the qualifications of service providers;
  • the setting in which the services are provided; and
  • the history of success with other consumers.