On Monday Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico announced its plan to buy the Lovelace Health Plan by year’s end. The sale will not include any of Lovelace’s hospitals, clinics, or pharmacies.
The companies have an agreement that will allow Lovelace Health Plan members to transition into BCBS coverage. A term of the arrangement will allow LHP members to continue to go to Lovelace doctors and facilities.
People who don’t have a grocery store nearby are often left to settle for fast food choices that are less healthy. But a mobile food truck stocked with everything from chia seeds to collard greens is ensuring that rural residents have a leg up on better nutrition.
In response to New Mexico’s high poverty and food insecurity rates, and growing numbers of diabetes and obesity problems, Sysco Foods’ CEO began MoGro –a mobile grocery store that has been visiting five New Mexico pueblos since January of this year.
Recently a federal appeals court issued an emergency injunction against the U-S Department of Agriculture that halts all inspections at domestic horse slaughter plants.
The move effectively freezes the opening of the Roswell Valley Meat Company in Southern New Mexico as well as a processing plant in Missouri that was set to open its doors during the first week of November.
It's estimated that 7.4 million people in the southwest will be buying insurance on their own under the Affordable Care Act. Approximately 60 percent of those purchasers will be eligible for help with their insurance bill in the form of tax credits next year.
Tres Lagunas. Thompson Ridge. Silver. Jaroso. These are the familiar names of the massive wildfires that burned rural parts of New Mexico in 2013. Although nearly 200 thousand acres burned here this year, the loss of property was relatively minimal. But CoreLogic, an international analytics company that specializes in real estate, says the next fire could be closer to home.
Military Wants To Keep Using Forest For Training - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal
Kirtland Air Force Base's request to renew a decades-old agreement that allows military training in portions of a national forest in central New Mexico is stirring controversy.
Kirtland has had an agreement since 1977 to use parts of the Cibola National Forest for training. That training includes establishment of helicopter landing zones, high-altitude training for aircraft and remote deployment of ground teams.
This summer five Arizona companies took over a dozen New Mexico mental health agencies accused of Medicaid fraud. Clients were assured that there would be no disruptions in their care. But those assurances are withering at five key sites.
The New Mexico Department of Heath has announced that a woman in Santa Fe has died from Hantavirus. It’s the second reported case in the state this year
Preliminary investigations indicate that the Hantavirus was acquired locally, likely within the woman’s home. But the Department of Health says it will also be performing an investigation at the patient’s house to make sure there's no risk to others. The woman’s identity has not yet been released.
NM Pension System Finances Improve Under New Law - Associated Press
A retirement system for New Mexico's state and local government workers reports its long-term financial outlook has improved in large part because of a recently enacted pension overhaul.
The Public Employees Retirement Association said Thursday the projected cost of future pension benefits was $4.6 billion more than the retirement fund's assets in the 2013 fiscal year. That's down from an unfunded liability of $6.2 billion the previous year.
A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are reporting a breakthrough in the effort to develop an HIV vaccine. The research used what’s called a mosaic vaccine, which showed some test animals had protection when exposed to the infection.
The study, which was conducted on 36 monkeys, has provided new insight into vaccines that could eventually protect humans from infection.
LANL scientist Bette Korber said that a mosaic vaccine, unlike traditional vaccines, is designed to respond to the large variety of HIV viruses that exist.
NM Could Lose Up To $25M In Tobacco Revenues - Associated Press
Gov. Susana Martinez's administration plans to cut spending on several health and education programs because New Mexico faces the loss of up to $25 million from a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies.
The state expected to collect about $39 million in tobacco payments in the current budget year. However, the attorney general's office said Wednesday that amount will be lowered because of an arbitration ruling against New Mexico and five others states in September.
It’s estimated that the Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill is twice the size of the Exxon Valdez spill. Officials announced that the first, large scale test of a system designed to clean up the contamination is now underway. The test marks the first time water contaminated with fuel will be pumped out of the ground since the 40 year old spill was discovered in 1999.
The so-called “Step Test” will remove an estimated 70,000 gallons of contaminated water from an aquifer that feeds Albuquerque’s water supply.
KUNM Call In Show Thu 10/31 8a: A time of remembrance. A scary time. A solemn time. A joyful time. All of the above?
Whether we observe or celebrate Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, or a mix of all, this time of year brings an opportunity to share in communal rituals that remind, unite and excite. Join us as we look at the evolution and blending of traditions in New Mexico and beyond.
One Tuesday members from Albuquerque's South Valley Mountain View neighborhood association picked up shovels alongside folks from the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, and dug into the dirt, breaking ground for a new pre treatment facility.
For years now the the area has been described as a nightmare due to the stench, because literally every time a toilet is flushed in the 300 square mile zone, all the sewage is funneled to this one plant.
A recent study claims that nearly 30-million people on the planet live in slavery- a practice that relies on the trafficking of human beings. The majority of victims are found in places like India, Thailand and Russia. Human trafficking is also a growing problem in the Southwestern United States, and the black market trade is growing in New Mexico.
State, Kirtland Begin Fuel Spill Cleanup Test - Associated Press
State environment and Kirtland Air Force Base officials are beginning the first large-scale test of a system for pumping and cleaning up contamination from a huge underground jet fuel spill.
Officials are holding a news conference Wednesday to showcase the system, which will pump 70,000 gallons of contaminated water from the underground aquifer that feeds Albuquerque's water supply . The water will be pumped to nearby mobile tanks for filtering and treatment.
A new federal report ranks New Mexico as the state with the highest percentage of citizens with mental illness. But the 416-page survey also reveals states in the Southwest are above average in many areas like access to mental health services.
The purpose of the Behavioral Health 2012 report is to look at where states stand in relation to national averages. The hope is for policy makers to examine areas of the mental health system that need help.
Five years ago victims of human trafficking had no legal remedies under New Mexico’s laws. But in 2008 a new statute provided prosecutors with tools to help victims and bring the traffickers to justice. And the state was years ahead of 39 other states that only began to pass laws this year, according to the Polaris Project.
The state can withhold an audit of 15 health providers under investigation for potential Medicaid fraud because such secrecy is necessary to protect the criminal probe, the Attorney General’s Office says.
An audit conducted by the Department of Justice says the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs failed to comply with essential grant conditions when handling about $4-million dollars in federal awards over the last six years.
According to the audit by the Office of Inspector General Audit Division (OIG), there were conflicts of interest when hiring; questionable payroll costs; and inadequate monitoring of contracts, sub-grantees and timesheets, to name a few of the findings.