Designing a healthcare system that protects your health and both your pocketbook and the states pocketbook is a complex task, as there are so many moving parts to a healthcare system. For over 25 years the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign has been seeking funding to advance the Health Security Act, a big bold effort to create a high quality affordable health care system for New Mexicans. But advancing legislation of the scale of the Health Security Act naturally creates anxiety in legislators. As a result, for the last two years, leadership of the Health Security for New Mexicans campaign has sought funding to advance a design process through which New Mexico can explore the ways in which other countries and states have addressed health care challenges.
Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign leadership has decided to take a slightly different path this session. Rather than trying to pass Health Security Act Plan Design legislation, they are supporting legislation that specifically asks for funding to examine key drivers of NM health care cost increases. Passing this legislation and enabling the Health and Human Services Committee to oversee the work it funds will significantly advance state efforts to contain healthcare costs as well as address key cost driver policies as described in the Health Security Act. The funding is a great investment that will benefit the state..
Summaries of both bills are provided below. please use these summaries to construct your own message to your legislators. it is always a good idea to incorporate a personal story or example of how health care costs directly impact you or someone you love.
SB 290- HB 293 Healthcare Cost Drivers Analysis. Appropriates $400,000 to Legislative Council Service (which will then provide these funds to the year-round Legislative Health and Human Services Committee) to enable LHHSC to contract with independent consultants to analyze and address key problems that contribute to rising health care costs including onerous and complex health professional payment systems and utilization of antiquated information technology systems that don’t talk to each other, among other factors. More info coming soon. Read SB 290 at this link.
HB 264 Study Medicaid Managed Care Structure. Sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Chavez and Rep. Patricia Roybal-Caballero, appropriates $250,000 to Legislative Council Service (which will then provide these funds to the year-round Legislative Health and Human Services Committee). This funding will enable LHHSC to contract with independent consultants to analyze structural cost challenges of the NM Medicaid Managed Care program that will lead to systemic solutions to strengthen its fiscal viability. For a variety of reasons, Medicaid managed care is prone to escalating costs. The Medicaid managed care program accounts for almost 80% of Medicaid spending. NM, contracts with three managed care organizations (aka insurance companies), each with different business operating rules and provider networks. While our budget currently has a surplus, as the cost of Medicaid coverage increases, we cannot count on federal dollars and oil and gas revenues to provide the needed revenue to address those rising costs. Current strategies to address Medicaid Managed Care’s rising cost increases focus on cutting the number of enrollees, reducing benefits, and lowering provider payment rates. . HB 264 will allow us to analyze why that is and what we can do to contain Medicaid costs. Read HB 264 here.