SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – After checking in on more than 4,400 New Mexicans within the state’s developmental disabilities healthcare system, state officials say they’ve found 68 sites with “possible concerns.” The issues came to light with a few allegations of abuse in March.
Last month, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a statewide investigation into the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program, which is intended to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Now, the New Mexico Department of Health and other agencies have checked on the majority of the individuals in the program – and so far 42 site visits have led to allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
At an additional 26 sites, officials have found other potential issues. That includes things such as facility damage or environmental concerns.
The Department of Health says every incident is being investigated fully. And a third party (German Burnette & Associates in partnership with Accenture) is working to complete an external investigation of issues within the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver system. On top of those examinations, some lawmakers have called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm to conduct an investigation as well.
As investigations continue, the Department of Health says anyone found in immediate harm will be removed for safety. Law enforcement will also be involved as necessary.