Transparency

Public Health New Mexico
6:20 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Governor Signs Health Care Price Comparison Bill

Credit 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.

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Drilling Deep
5:00 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Shaky Ground: Fracking And Earthquakes

Credit Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Inevitably, when talking about oil and gas development, the word fracking comes up in conversation.

In the coming weeks, KUNM will be airing more feature stories on oil development in northwestern New Mexico. And I'll be posting here about some of the more technical issues I explore, such as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. 

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Public Health New Mexico
11:15 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Kirtland AFB Threatens To Limit Media Access Over Our “Cheap-Shot” Coverage. Here Is Our Response.

Credit Ed Williams

We recently published the first two stories in an ongoing series on pollution and the Rio Grande in which we plan to explore a range of topics and issues.

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People, Power And Democracy
7:49 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Lawmakers Push To Add State Contracts To Sunshine Portal

Credit Arianna Sena

Scanned copies of all state contracts should be available on the Sunshine Portal, say two lawmakers who are proposing an update to the state transparency website.

Posting original documents would give New Mexicans a bigger window into state contracts, something that’s important to business owners, says one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque.

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People, Power And Democracy
6:54 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Consumer Advocates Demand Healthcare Transparency

Credit 593D ESC via Flickr / Creative Commons License

    

Whether they’re shopping for a refrigerator, a laptop or a used car, most people do some comparison shopping before making a big purchase.

But that’s not the way healthcare works in New Mexico, where comparing prices for a hip replacement or asthma treatment is practically impossible. 

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People, Power And Democracy
6:27 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Lobbyist Disclosure Reforms Shelved

Credit Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Skeptical lawmakers rejected a proposal Monday that would have given the public more information about lobbying at the state Legislature.

The bill (HB 155) would have required lobbyists to divulge their salaries, file reports of their estimated and actual lobbying expenses, and list the issues—but not the exact bills—they are working on.

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People, Power And Democracy
3:35 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Lobbyists Lax On Spending Disclosures

A teddy bear from the New Mexico Primary Care Association sits atop a House staffer's computer monitor. The group is one of several that annually distributes gifts to lawmakers and staff.
Credit Sandra Fish / New Mexico In Depth

Ski passes. Dinner parties. Meals during committee hearings. Basketball and football tickets.

Individual lobbyists spent more than $1.6 million on gifts, meals and entertainment for New Mexico’s elected officials and staff in the four years from 2011 through 2014. Most of that went to the lawmakers in the New Mexico Legislature, but other elected officials and staffers benefitted too.

Over the same period businesses and organizations spent more than $379,000 directly to fete elected officials with parties, golf passes and more.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:33 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Lingering Concerns During WIPP Cleanup

Containers at WIPP
Credit Wikimedia Commons

As cleanup of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant commences, folks down south remain concerned about transparency and oversight.

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Local News
4:26 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Gov. Martinez Highlights Bipartisanship

Gov. Susana Martinez' campaign staff awaits her arrival on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Credit 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. 

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Public Health New Mexico
3:22 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Think Tank: Why Can't Patients Compare Prices?

Credit Bill David Brooks via CC

A nonpartisan think tank in New Mexico released a report on health care costs this week suggesting that providers should be more transparent about the price of procedures up front.

Fred Nathan is the founder and executive director of Think New Mexico. The group’s report says New Mexicans are spending more out of their pockets for health care than ever before, and most of that extra money is going to administrative costs—not to doctors’ salaries or improved care for patients.

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Local News
1:38 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Arizona Companies Prepare To Manage New Mexico Behavioral Health Providers

N.M. Legislative Finance Committee members listen as NMHSD Secretary Squier defended her suspension of Medicaid payments to 15 behavioral health providers.
Credit Bryant Furlow

When the New Mexico Human Services Department (NMHSD) announced last month it would suspend Medicaid payments to 15 behavioral health providers, Joe Frechen was worried.

For nearly 20 years, Frechen has worked as psychiatrist in Southern New Mexico with some of the most vulnerable patients in the region.

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