When he learns that signing up for Medicaid will mean he can visit a nearby hospital in Española instead of traveling to Santa Fe for urgent care, the Native American man sits back in his chair, eyebrows arched. Then he smiles.
“Cool! Oh that’s good,” the gray-haired, middle-aged man from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo says.
Maria Cabrera listens to Kate O'Donnell explain the Presbyterian Hospital application process for financial assistance at Casa de Salud Family Medical Office. Cabrera has acquired medical debt beyond her ability to pay after suffering from a heart attack, and living with severe asthma. O'Donnell is a project coordinator who helps people with severe medical debt manage their accounts with hospitals and collection agencies.
UPDATE Wednesday, Feb. 19, 10:59 p.m.: SB 122 passed the House and Senate.
Think physical education means just basketball or track? Not necessarily, if lawmakers decide to change high school graduation rules and allow school districts to choose other activities to meet the PE requirement. That proposal received a unanimous “high five” from the Senate earlier this week.
Meet Karla Castañeda. She’s 22, is a single mother, and recently went back to school. Her son is eligible for Medicaid, but she is not because she makes too much money, and her job doesn’t provide her with insurance. To get coverage, she turned to New Mexico’s insurance marketplace.
UPDATE 5:30p 2/6: Work has resumed at southeastern New Mexico's nuclear waste repository. But officials say they don't yet know what caused the truck fire that forced an evacuation of the underground site.
A spokesman says an investigation will be conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where low level waste from the nation's nuclear weapons plants is stored in salt beds.
The site was evacuated and six people were treated for smoke inhalation after a truck hauling salt caught fire Wednesday.
A state-hired auditor found $1,873 in questionable Medicaid payments to a health-care provider cleared of fraud last week by the state's top cop, according to a portion of the audit released Wednesday.
Using a statistical formula, the auditor then extrapolated from that $1,873 figure to come up with approximately $612,000 in potential Medicaid overpayments by The Counseling Center in Alamogordo, the document shows.
Almost 75 percent of the nearly 8,000 New Mexicans who have enrolled in insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act are eligible for discounts, according to numbers released by the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Wednesday. Officials are attributing the spike in the number of enrollees to the state’s multi-pronged advertising campaign.
According to WOAI, the Drug Enforcement Agency has “experienced the first case of a Texan being treated for using a new type of drug which leaves the user with flesh lesions and turns the skin a scaly green color.”
The drug, known as Krokodil, has made headlines in the United States for months, but has only shown up in a few isolated incidents, like the one in Texas.
New statistics released by the American Cancer Society show that nationally there's been a 20 percent decrease in risk of death from all cancers. For breast and colon cancer, that rate of decline is closer to 35 percent. However, in the Southwest, there's a slightly different picture.
The director of the state's Behavioral Health Services Division is resigning. Diana McWilliams submitted her resignation letter on Monday, Dec. 16, and her last day is tomorrow. She'll be heading back east to Philadelphia to become the chief operating officer for a nonprofit behavioral health and child welfare organization, she said.
Medical residents at UNM created a free app to help New Mexicans get hooked into health care.
The app, called Get Covered New Mexico, can aid folks in calculating what they're eligible for. It links directly to websites people can use to apply for Medicaid and the health care exchange. It also points the way to the nearest physical location to apply for services in-person.
Stan Padilla has been using heroin for 45 years. On this cold December morning, he’s taking time to visit an Albuquerque syringe exchange to pick up clean gear for his habit.
"I just look out for myself,” said Padilla. “'Round here there isn’t no friends, when it comes out to drugs and money, it’s all about trying to use each other. It’s the way it is. It’s the drug business for you.”
He’s 61 years old, an Albuquerque native, and says he’s cut his habit down to using about once a month.
Infant mortality rates in the Southwest have been steadily declining over the years. But recent data from New Mexico show a surprising spike in 2012. The state has surpassed national infant death rates for the first time since the 1990s.
E-cigarettes – those pen-like nicotine dispensers people inhale without the smoke – are posing challenges for governments trying to reduce the number of people who take up smoking. Today a Legislative panel that oversees spending of a tobacco-settlement fund discussed whether to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as the traditional kind.
Native Americans have the highest rates of smoking before, during and after pregnancy than any other ethnic group in the nation. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.
According to the CDC, 55 percent of Native American women smoked before pregnancy. During pregnancy, that rate dropped significantly to 26 percent. However, that rate was still the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the nation.
The audit that led the Martinez administration to freeze Medicaid funding for more than a dozen behavioral health non-profits in New Mexico is at the center of a hearing Tuesday in Santa Fe.
The Foundation for Open Government sued state government after state officials released a heavily redacted audit to media. FOG attorneys claim the report is “too important to the citizens of New Mexico to be kept form public view.” The open government group asked in its lawsuit for for the audit to be released in its entirety.