New Mexico gets ready for health care reform

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By Special to the Monitor

Santa Fe – To prepare for implementing health care reform, Gov. Bill Richardson’s Health Care Reform (HCR) Leadership Team will meet from            10 a.m.-noon Aug. 18 at the Human Services Department, located 37 Plaza la Prensa in Santa Fe.

Last month, Richardson accepted the Leadership Team’s “Strategic Plan, Implementing Federal Health Care Reform – A Roadmap for New Mexico” and directed the state to move forward with    several recommendations in the plan, including the continuation of the Health Care Reform Leadership Team to assure coordination across state agencies.

The governor also agreed to expand membership of the Leadership Team to include representation from the Higher Education Department, Public Education Department, Department of Finance and Administration, General Services Department, Risk Management Division, Office of the Governor’s Council on Women’s Health and the Workers’ Compensation Administration.

Other recommendations Richardson has directed the state to move forward with include:

• Develop New Mexico’s own strong health insurance exchange.

• Create an Office of Health Care Reform utilizing existing staff resources to plan, coordinate and administer implementation of federal health care reform while reporting to the Health Care Reform Leadership Team;

• Host the Office of Health Care Reform at the Human Services Department;

• Determine state statutes requiring amendment/enactment to be in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and

• Conduct Tribal Consultation regarding health care reform initiatives and policies that will impact American Indians.

The agenda items for the Aug. 18 meeting are:

• Review of Governor’s Directives based on the Strategic Plan’s Recommendations;

• Workgroups’ Reports;

• Grants Tracking;

• Update and Discussion on NM’s Exchange Planning Grant; and

• Input from Stakeholders and Public.

The HCR Leadership Team was put together by Executive Order earlier this year, is chaired by Human Services Department Secretary Katie Falls and consists of several state agencies and offices.   

For more information, visit HSD Web site at Federal%20Health%20Care%20Reform%20                              Strategic%20Plan%207-12-10%20FINAL.pdf.