SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – After allegations of abuse, government agencies have been checking in on New Mexicans involved in the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver Healthcare Program. Friday, March 31, the state provided an update on those checks.

Allegations of abuse surfaced earlier in March. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state leaders announced that agencies such as the Department of Health would conduct in-person wellness checks on more than 1,000 clients tied to the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program, which is intended to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Now, the Department of Health says more than 2,500 individuals have been visited, and those visits have resulted in 45 incidents of alleged abuse and neglect. Those allegations include things like environmental hazards in the home and absent staff, the department says. They add that every incident is being fully investigated.

“The number of incidents requiring investigation speaks volumes about the absolute necessity and importance of these unannounced visits,” Department of Health Secretary Patrick M. Allen said in a press release. “We launched these mass visits with an all-hands-on-deck mentality, and these numbers demonstrate a need for a comprehensive re-evaluation of the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division and the Division of Health Improvement oversight. We must take every single step to assure New Mexicans living with developmental disabilities are receiving the proper care they deserve.”

Recently, some local politicians asked U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm to step in and investigate the allegations. And while it’s not clear if the federal Inspector General will get involved, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved in ongoing scrutiny of the state’s Developmental Disabilities Wavier Program.

The New Mexico Department of Health says there are still more individual wellness checks to be done. As those are being completed, 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.

The Department of Health also notes that individuals found in abusive situations will be removed from the care of the associated or alleged abusers. Anyone suspecting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of individuals in the Developmental Disabilities Wavier Program can call Adult Protective Services Central Intake Unit (1-866-654-3219).