The audit the state used to justify suspending Medicaid payments to an Alamogordo health center last year appears to have included mistakenly flagged claims, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
That raises questions about the process the Human Services Department (HSD) used to ensure the audit was accurate before deciding to suspend Medicaid dollars to the Alamogordo organization.
Among the governor’s goals in her 2014 State of the State Address: deal with the shortage of health care providers in New Mexico. Every county except one doesn’t have an adequate supply of physicians and dentists, according to the federal government. And about 170,000 more folks will be eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Though Gov. Susana Martinez has unrolled some plans to deal with the shortage, the Legislature wasn’t able to pass measures that would have boosted the state’s health care work force.
A 30-day legislative session—like the one that ended yesterday at noon—is mostly about hammering out a state budget. But other priorities sneak in, too, and 2014 saw a lot of public health-related bills. Here’s a look at the new laws and programs that made it out of Santa Fe alive.
Department of Energy officials say radiation levels detected in and around the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository are consistent with a leak at the southeastern New Mexico facility.
Carlsbad field office manager Jose Franco said Thursday that readings from sensors above and below ground indicate the radiation is coming from waste stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. But officials won't know what caused the leak until they can get underground to investigate. That could be weeks.
KUNM Call In Show Thu. 2/20 8a: What is public health? Maybe the term makes you think of vaccinations or controlling and preventing diseases like diabetes and influenza. But the field is much larger than that.
Call 277-5866 in Albuquerque or toll-free 1-877-899-5866.
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.