KUNM

Health Care

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The Albuquerque-area’s public safety net hospital can no longer demand half upfront from uninsured folks getting medically necessary surgeries as of late last week. But advocates say the hospital has yet to fully put this change into practice.

News From Native America

Nov 1, 2017
Antonia Gonzalez

Let’s Talk New Mexico 11/2 8a: It's been one year since people from across the United States, including New Mexico, traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation to oppose construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. What was the lasting impact across the country?

Leah Todd

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/26 8a: In New Mexico and across the West, economies are changing. From agriculture to tech startups, health care and business on tribal lands, communities in New Mexico are working to adapt. 

This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re looking at communities who are coming up with solutions to the economic changes our state is facing as part of our collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network's State of Change project. 

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Let's Talk New Mexico 10/19 8a: Recently, the Trump Administration has relaxed rules on health insurance plans and contraception coverage, and cancelled subsidies that help get health coverage to low income people. What do these developments mean for the future of health care in New Mexico? 

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The New Mexico Human Services Department has been considering charging Medicaid recipients copays in an effort to save money from the state’s cash-strapped budget. The proposals were met with strong opposition in public meetings earlier this year. But the state is moving forward with the changes anyway. 

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Health advocates in New Mexico are urging lawmakers to improve Medicaid and the insurance markets now that Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have failed. 

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KUNM Call In Show 7/27 8a: As New Mexico grapples with a budget crisis, the state is considering whether to save money by making changes to Medicaid—things like charging copays for prescriptions and doctor visits and eliminating dental care for Medicaid recipients. 

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New Mexico is considering a plan to charge Medicaid patients copays as a way to save the state money. The proposal is drawing strong criticism from health care groups, poverty advocates and Medicaid recipients.

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New Mexico allotted $940 million to pay for its share of Medicaid costs this year, but that’s still not enough to keep up with the growing number of people signing up for the program. The state Human Services Department is considering charging copays to people on Medicaid as part of a plan to cut costs.

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Poverty advocates say the Republicans’ new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave many low-income people in New Mexico without coverage.

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What if you’re racing to the hospital, but it’s an hour away – or more? Pregnant women living in northern New Mexico have to cross over sixty miles to deliver their babies with a doctor or midwife. But in this state, half the battle is getting physicians to work in rural areas.

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KUNM Call In Show 5/11 8a: Call 1-877-899-5866. With Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act moving through congress, the future of healthcare in New Mexico is facing a lot of uncertainty. We’ll look at what changing the healthcare law could mean for New Mexicans, and for our state’s Medicaid system and insurance markets.

Courtesy Project ECHO

In many parts of the world, including rural New Mexico, it's difficult for patients to access specialists in health care. But instead of moving more providers to those areas, what if doctors and other health professionals who already work in those communities could gain the knowledge and expertise they need to help their patients? That's the idea behind Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcome, or Project ECHO. It launched in 2003 at the University of New Mexico to respond to the growing Hepatitis C crisis around New Mexico.

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The first time an atomic bomb was ever detonated, it happened in New Mexico. The Trinity test spread radiation far and wide here in 1945. People fighting for the health effects of the blast to be acknowledged by the federal government released the first extensive report on Friday, Feb. 10.

Clever Cupcakes via Flickr / Creative Commons

 

KUNM Callin Show 2/16 8a: New Mexico expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and the number of people covered by the program will grow to more than 900,000 by the end of June. That's about 44 percent of the state's population.

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For a decade, local nurses lightened the load on the state’s emergency rooms by answering health questions via phone 24/7. But due to a lack of funding, the hotline will go dark on Dec. 31.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Protests have been erupting in cities around the United States in the days since Donald Trump was elected president. Hundreds of students at the University of New Mexico staged a walkout Wednesday evening.  

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It can be hard to get motivated to exercise. But what if your doctor wrote you a prescription for it? One physician in Albuquerque is leading the charge against inactivity.

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The company that handles medical services for prisoners in the state—Corizon Health—is facing hundreds of lawsuits filed by inmates who say care is inadequate. A series in the Santa Fe New Mexican investigates whether state officials have been ignoring warning signs or have done an inadequate job overseeing Corizon. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Untreated minor health concerns can grow into big, expensive ailments, maybe even fatal illnesses. That’s true for people who are in jail, too. Many of the state’s jails charge inmates copays for their medical care, but some say the fees deter inmates from seeking the help they need before health problems get out of control. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

FARMINGTON, N.M.—Nationwide, the number of people who die in jail is rising. Here in New Mexico, three deaths in three months in San Juan County’s lockup caught the attention of attorneys and the local newspaper

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KUNM Call In Show 8/27 8a

Advocates around the state are working to help new moms who want to breastfeed make it happen. They’re embarking on campaigns to normalize breastfeeding and inform women of their rights at work.

Are hospitals helping women start the process? Are New Mexico employers offering their workers clean, private spaces to pump milk? Did you or anyone you know ever face disapproval or judgment for nursing in public? Are businesses friendly to breastfeeding moms?

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Before you try a new restaurant, you might check out reviews to see what other customers thought of the place. Now you can do that with hospitals, too. But our state’s hospitals aren’t stacking up so well.

Leo Reynolds via CC

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill today that makes it so people seeking health care can find out what different routine procedures cost at hospitals around the state. Fourteen other states have these websites.

Patients will be able to shop around and find the best deal on medical procedures—and see which hospitals perform them best—when a new public website goes up. Prices of vary drastically from hospital to hospital, according to Think New Mexico’s Fred Nathan, and unveiling the price tags actually drives costs down.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The Associated Press looked at data from medical facilities for veterans around the U.S. and reported that four in New Mexico were among the worst when it comes to long waits for appointments. 

Veterans using VA clinics in Farmington, Santa Fe and Rio Rancho, and the hospital in Albuquerque, might be waiting a long time for health care. Those facilities were near the top of the AP’s list, with Farmington coming in No. 6—out of 940. 

Kaiser Family Foundation

New Mexico is faring better than most states with health care costs under the Affordable Care Act. Our state experienced the third-largest drop in insurance premiums nationwide since last year.

Marisa Demarco

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez secured a second term last night, beating her Democratic challenger Gary King handily. Martinez emphasized bipartisanship during her acceptance speech at the Marriott in Albuquerque, which was packed with Republicans from around the state.

As Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela introduced Gov. Martinez late Tuesday night, he focused on her heart—perhaps a nod to opponent Gary King’s maligned comment about the governor’s not being Latino enough. 

Marisa Demarco

Wednesday’s town hall was heated, as veterans gathered in Albuquerque to raise concerns about VA health care with the state’s administration.

Hands in the audience were still raised as the two-hour meeting drew to a close. Scores of veterans who got a chance to speak complained of extremely long wait times, rushed care and bad communication with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

UPDATE Feb. 19, 2014, at 1 p.m.: SJR 12 is stuck in committee. A measure that would tie the state's minimum wage to inflation passed the Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House.

Today marked the start of the legislative session and Celebrating Children and Youth Day at the Roundhouse.

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