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National Core Indicators Project in Wisconsin

What is the NCI Project?

The National Core Indicators (NCI) project helps state agencies learn about their own performances by surveying the people they serve. Wisconsin is one of 46 states that conduct NCI surveys. People across Wisconsin receiving long-term care services are randomly selected to participate. Trained interviewers from Wisconsin travel to meet with adults in-person, asking them to share their opinions, feedback, and personal experiences about the services they receive and about topics like:

  • Employment
  • Rights
  • Service planning
  • Community activities
  • Choice
  • Health
  • Safety

Wisconsin participates in two surveys

Adult In-Person Survey

The adult In-Person Survey (IPS) reaches out to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

People may be selected for the survey if both the following apply:

  • They have an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • They are getting services from a Medicaid long-term care program. Medicaid long-term care programs include Family Care, Family Care Partnership, and IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct).

Aging and Disabilities Survey

The Aging and Disabilities Survey (AD) includes older adults and adults with physical disabilities.

People may be selected for the survey if both the following apply:

  • They have a physical disability or are elderly.
  • They are getting services from a Medicaid long-term care program or nursing home. Medicaid long-term care programs include Family Care, Family Care Partnership, PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), and IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct).


People who are selected will be notified by letter

DHS has contracted with Vital Research, an independent research organization, to conduct face-to-face interviews. If you are selected, you will receive a letter with information about the survey. An interviewer will call you sometime between October 2019 and May 2020 to talk with you about the survey and see if you want to participate. If you want to be in the survey, you will schedule a meeting at a time and place of your convenience.

  • Participation is voluntary.
  • All responses and information are confidential.
  • Your services and supports will not be affected whether you participate or not participate.
  • The face-to-face meeting takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
To learn more about the interviews, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Timeframe for the surveys

Adult Surveys: October 2019–May 2020 (approximate)

Proxy representatives and supports

  • A proxy representative, someone answering on behalf of the person receiving services, is used only when the person cannot complete the survey or chooses to have a representative.
  • Participants may choose to have a natural support person present during the interview although the person receiving services should answer for him or herself if able.
  • Only people who know the person well—such as family, friends, or staff—may act as proxy representatives. To avoid conflict of interest, case managers are not allowed to respond for individuals who they care for.

HIPAA and confidentiality

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act require all people and entities with access to protected health information and other non-public information to protect the data.

Vital Research is required to keep all health and non-public information private and comply with HIPPA. Field interviewers are also required to safeguard all health and non-public information, and to comply with all HIPAA and HITECH Act requirements.

More information

Questions for DHS

Michelle Osness

Questions for Vital Research

Hannah Heubner


NCI Project Partners

Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)
National Core Indicators (NCI)
National Core Indicators, Aging and Disability (NCI-AD)
Wisconsin National Core Indicators—Adult In-Person/Aging and Disabilities (NCI-IPS/AD)

Last revised May 26, 2022