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NC Medicaid Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plan will launch July 1, 2024.

Supports Intensity Scale

The SIS assessment measures the support a person living with intellectual
or developmental disabilities needs for everyday activities of independent living.

A Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS) assessment determines the daily supports a person with intellectual and development disabilities needs to live as independently as possible in the community. Everyone enrolled in the Innovations Waiver will complete a SIS assessment. There is an assessment for adults and an assessment for children.

A trained intellectual and developmental disability professional conducts SIS assessments. Results from your SIS assessment are used to create your person-centered individual support plan. The SIS also helps set Individualized Budget Amounts to be used for services.

The Supports Intensity Scale® was developed by the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). SIS assessments identify what help a person with intellectual or developmental disabilities needs to do the same things everyone else does every day. Instead of measuring what you cannot do, it measures the type and amount of help you need to shop, prepare meals, get around from place to place, work, be social, have friendships, and do other activities.

Your assessment is a private meeting between you, two other people very familiar with you and your needs, and the trained professional. The meeting usually takes a few hours to finish and is at a place and time you are most comfortable with. At an adult assessment, you will discuss the support you need for 57 activities and 28 areas of health. The child assessment is for children 5 to 15 1/2 years old living with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires Individuals who participate in a Medicaid waiver to have a valid, comprehensive assessment. NC Medicaid uses the Supports Intensity Scale-Adult Version® (SIS-A®) to fulfill this requirement for individuals 16 and older. The SIS-A® was created to measure the supports a person needs to be successful in their life. Since 2016, each person receiving Innovation Waiver services has participated in a Supports Intensity Scale Assessment. In February 2022, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) announced that SIS-A® was renormed, to include modern language and to gather additional information.

Since 2016, Sessions Law 2011-254 required each person on the Innovations Waiver to receive a support budget. NC Medicaid has contracted with the Human Services Research Institute to evaluate the support budget model to decide whether any changes will be needed to better support individuals on the Innovations Waiver as we move into the next version of SIS-A® 2nd edition.

Beginning October 1, 2023, as part of SIS assessments, SIS interviewers will start asking SIS Advance questions. The advance questions reflect the addition to SIS-A® 2nd Edition. The answers to these questions will not print on the SIS Family Friendly Report or affect the individual’s level and tier. The sole purpose of asking these questions is data collection. The information collected will help inform decisions as we move forward. NC Medicaid plans to transition to SIS-A® 2nd Edition in Fall of 2024.

For questions or concerns, please contact

Updated: September 27, 2023