Council backs NMAC plan

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By Arin McKenna

The Los Alamos County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to support a plan by the New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) that would mitigate the impacts of a bid by the New Mexico Human Services Department ‘s (HSD) to intercept all indigent healthcare Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) funds.
According to current state law, counties may assess three 1/8 increments of GRT. The second increment is restricted to use for county indigent programs, which can include the county’s contribution to the Medicaid and Sole Community Provider pools as well as local indigent healthcare programs.
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had some issues with the way the state ran its Medicaid Waiver program. The state negotiated with CMS (without county or hospital participation) and created Centennial Care.
The Centennial Care plan proposes to have two different pools of money.
One fund addresses uncompensated care, and replaces the Sole Community Provider fund.
The other fund is called the Hospital Rate Increase pool. It will be used to adjust Medicaid base rates, which have not been adjusted since 1998.
To pay for these funds, HSD is pushing legislation that would intercept every county’s 1/8 increment healthcare GRT.

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