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Development of NM DDW Groups

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The NM DDW Group assignment process uses a normed assessment tool, the Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS). Using a normed tool allows NM DOH to compare one individual's assessed support needs to those of the whole population of individuals with IDD represented by the SIS norm group.

For purposes of establishing NM DDW Groups the portions of the SIS that are used include Parts A, B and E from Section 1 and Parts A and B from Section 3. These SIS sections are used because in past work they were shown to be the most highly related to expenditures for services.

There are seven New Mexico DDW Groups, from least (Group A) to most (Groups F and G) need. Four of the groups are related mostly to support needs (Groups A, B, D, E). Two groups are related to behavioral challenges (Groups C and G). One group is reserved for people with the most significant medical conditions (group F).

Assignment of an individual to a group is decided by their SIS scores and is also informed by responses to Supplemental Questions adopted by New Mexico as an additional measure of support needs. At the end of the SIS interview, Supplemental Questions would be asked if they are triggered by responses to items within SIS Section 3 Parts A and B on exceptional medical and behavioral support needs. When these questions identify someone with potential extraordinary medical or behavioral risk, documents are reviewed to determine if an individual should receive a level promotion to the highest NM DDW Groups F or G on a case by case basis. The Decision Rules table describes the seven New Mexico DDW Groups and the range of SIS scores for each group.

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