New Mexico’s teen pregnancy rate is declining – down 41 percent between 1998 and 2011 – but the state still has the second highest rate in the nation behind Mississippi. High poverty and high drop out rates play a big part. But a Santa Fe high school program that’s helping teens earn their diplomas while overcoming the challenges of parenthood is making a dent in the stark statistics.
New research is taking a look at how childhood trauma can alter the development of the brain, sometimes with lasting effects that can carry into adulthood. Dr. Elaine Bearer’s work looks at ways to stop the cycle of kids “acting out” before they grow up.
University of New Mexico Professor Elaine Bearer’s research on mice suggests early childhood trauma might interfere with normal changes in the brains of children. She and her team are also studying the stress a premature baby endures.
In June, Deleana Other Bull was laid off. She lost her insurance, and turned to the Indian Health Service for her needs.
“I recently had a miscarriage, and it was very devastating for me,” said Other Bull. “Going and following up and making sure that everything is okay. It was really scary because I didn’t have insurance.”
Hate it or love it, the Affordable Health Care Act is set to roll out soon. And as most already know, the act requires nearly all citizens to obtain health insurance or face penalties. But some of those exempted from the mandate are Native Americans. That hasn’t deterred private insurance companies from launching a campaign in Indian Country to sign up tribal members in New Mexico.
On a cool, Saturday afternoon on the Navajo Nation a crowd of tribal members are lined up at a row of folding tables staffed by insurance company representatives that speak English.
KUNM Call In Show 9/26 8a: We've been hearing about the roll out of the Affordable Care Act for years now, but what does the full implementation of the healthcare law actually mean for New Mexicans? Who is eligible for tax credits for insurance premiums? What about people who are happy with their employer provided health insurance?
New Census data shows that poverty rates in New Mexico have increased significantly since 2000. About one fifth of the state’s population earned an income below the federal poverty line last year and more than 100,000 New Mexicans fell into poverty over the last dozen years.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government has filed a lawsuit seeking public disclosure of an audit that identified potential overbillings and fraud by providers of mental health and substance abuse services.
The Human Services Department has frozen payments to more than a dozen behavioral health providers because of the fraud allegations.
When Medicaid funding for 15 of New Mexico’s behavioral health providers was frozen earlier this summer, lawmakers began hearing from their constituents.
Senator Tim Keller says people in his district in southeast Albuquerque are extremely upset. Now Keller has drafted a piece of legislation he hopes will prevent this kind of situation from happening again.
The state expects about half of the 400,000 uninsured New Mexicans to purchase insurance through the state health insurance exchange when it’s fully implemented in 2014. A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds New Mexicans will pay some of the lowest rates in the nation.
"The age group that will face the highest increases is actually older individuals, 64 year olds in New Mexico will see a 159% increase in their rates to $494 a month and similarly women will see a 160% increase in their rates," says Avik Roy with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
Members of New Mexico's Behavioral Health legislative subcommittee discovered this week that state officials were considering contracts with Arizona providers before local firms had been notified of fraud allegations.
Some lawmakers are now looking at potential lawsuits because of an audit performed by the firm Public Consulting Group, or PCG. The audit resulted in a freeze of Medicaid funding to 15 local behavioral health providers.
Protestors gathered at the state capital in Santa Fe today, pleading with Governor Susana Martinez to change course and end the chaos now hampering New Mexico’s behavioral health system. Front-line workers who treat extreme cases of the mentally ill reported losing touch with their clients after five Arizona firms took over operations at 12 local providers.
Federal authorities heard directly Wednesday from more than two dozen behavioral health clients concerned about the continuing disruptions of services in New Mexico. Callers were highly critical of the state's move to freeze Medicaid funding for providers suspected of fraud. One after another, men and women, adult patients and parents of children recounted problems getting services.
This week marks the beginning of new management for another one of the New Mexico's nonprofits under investigation for alleged Medicaid fraud. Three out of four of the counselors who treated patients at Valencia Counseling Services in Los Lunas are no longer working there, and that has the new management team on edge.
Often, redacted documents might look like this, with blurred or darkly marked segments. But according to The Albuquerque Journal, the redacted Audit Protocol documents they received were so heavily redacted that 8 of 13 pages were entirely blank.
Governor Susana Martinez’s administration is moving ahead - despite objections from state legislators - with plans to use more than 10-million dollars from the Human Services Department to pay Arizona contractors that are taking over New Mexico’s Medicaid-funded behavioral health operations. The Legislative Finance Committee voted 15 to 1 on Wednesday to reject the budget transfer.
More than 300 people in 37 states have been infected by salmonella, many of which were children. Investigators have linked the source of the outbreak to a chicken, duck and turkey hatchery in Eastern New Mexico.
In the Southwest, nine people have been infected in California, eight in Arizona, 19 in New Mexico, and 32 in Texas.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 4:58 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
In the American Southwest, a rare genetic disorder known as the Common Hispanic Mutation has haunted those of Spanish descent for nearly 400 years. It's been called "El Frio," or the cold. Now, to understand the disease, researchers in New Mexico are digging into the genetic history of residents. From member station KUNM in Albuquerque, Tristan Ahtone reports.
There are still a lot of questions about the New Mexico Human Services Department's abrupt halt of Medicaid funding to 15 behavioral health providers and the state's contracts with Arizona firms to take over provider management.