New Mexico DOH Releases report on the state of the DD Waiver Program

Press Release from the New Mexico Department of Health

July 26, 2023

SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) released a comprehensive report on the Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program that was written by consulting firms German Burnette & Associates and Accenture. This report was commissioned following a horrific case of abuse was discovered earlier this year. Immediately following the discovery of this case, DOH in partnership with other state agencies made in person wellness checks on all participants of the program. 

“We take the health and well-being of our DD waiver clients very seriously,” said Patrick Allen, Secretary of the Department of Health. “We value the insights and recommendations offered by Accenture, as they aid us in delivering the highest quality care to our clients.” 

The Accenture report provides recommended improvements to the DD Waiver Program, in three key areas: 

  • People – aspects that guide the optimization of resources (internal/vendor resources) to better serve program participants. 
  • Process & Program – aspects related to the execution and effectiveness of the program’s processes and decision-makings.  
  • Technology – technologies that offer a consolidated source for data, shared and longitudinal case records, and automated reporting. 

As a result of this report DOH is taking immediate action to make improvements to the DD Waiver program. These activities include: 

  • Continuing work with Accenture to identify systemic issues with the DD Waiver and revise protocols as needed to ensure proper oversight is maintained. 
  • Developing a predictive model to identify participants who may be at risk.  
  • Soliciting feedback from stakeholder specific to ANE prevention strategies. 
  • Implementing regular wellness check schedule by DDSD and DHI staff. 
  • Exploring client data management options. 
  • Designing more meaningful tools for visitation by case managers and state staff. 
  • Assessing provider capacity system-wide. 
  • Evaluating current DDSD and DHI organizational structure and workloads. 

“We wholeheartedly recognize the importance of these recommendations for our DD Waiver program, and we are fully prepared to take decisive action,” asserted Dr. José Acosta, director of the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division. “Acknowledging the identified shortcomings, we have already set in motion corrective actions. Treating these issues as our utmost priority, we are resolutely committed to implementing the necessary improvements. This report will serve as our compass, guiding our efforts towards impactful measures that guarantee each participant in the DD Waiver program receives the comprehensive support they need to thrive.” 

The full report can be found online here