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The Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DDW) provides an array of home and community based services to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live successfully in their community, become more independent, and reach their personal goals. New Mexico has used waiver funding to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 26 years. The DDW is funded with state general funds and is matched with federal funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Since state fiscal year (FY) 2006, the average cost per individual increased by $10,511 from $66, 831 in FY 06 to $77,457 in 2010. In FY09, New Mexico ranked sixth highest in the nation for the average cost per individual for waiver services. The national average cost per individual in FY09 was $56,650.
As the cost to provide services to individuals on the DDW continued to increase, the demand for services also grew. As of September 30, 2013, approximately 3,807 individuals were on the waiver while 6,000 individuals continued to wait for services. Currently, the average length of time an individual waits for services on the Central Registry is about 11 years. This is up from 7 years in 2006. As the result of escalating costs and demand for services, the Department of Health determined it necessary in January 2011 to implement cost containment measures, and to redesign the waiver. The Department of Health wants the redesigned waiver to: be more cost effective and sustainable, be fair and equitable, and promote independence for those that currently receive services, those that will need services, and for the 6,000+ people on the waitlist.