Caring for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Primary Care Setting

Module Materials

What are the unique elements of caring for people, who have IDD, in primary care settings? How can we best adapt our team approach and deliver care that best meets their needs?

Our goal in this training module is to ensure our integrating physical and behavioral health care provider-teams have current and relevant information necessary to best serve patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Of particular importance is the providers’ ability and commitment to assess potential dual diagnoses involving a behavioral health related disorder. The National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) estimates that as many as 30-35% of people with IDD also have a psychiatric disorder (NADD, 2019). Caring for people with IDD requires curiosity on the behalf of the provider, individualized and thorough engagement with each patient, and creative ways of getting information from the patient. For example modifying screening for depression to accommodate unique communication methods will both, assist in ensuring the highest quality of whole-patient care and also ensure your ability to most accurately report clinical quality measures.

Caregivers may need to be included to ensure the accurate and timely assessment of health needs. Prior to including individuals, other than the patient, in conversation it is imperative that providers confirm HIPAA compliance is intact. It is critical that providers listen to ensure each person’s communication abilities are maximized.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify the importance of understanding the unique needs of each person with IDD.
  • Describe the roles of team members involved in supporting people with IDD.
  • Recognize the aspects of communicating with and accurately assessing people with IDD.

Who Should Complete this Module?

The information in this module is valuable for all integrated team members including clinicians, nurses, behavioral health, medical assistants, front & back office, and care managers.

CME credit available.

Approximate Time: 30 minutes

The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a four-year initiative, is funded by up to $65 million from CMS. The content provided is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

Caring for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Primary Care Setting