FUNDING THE MEDICAID PROGRAM AND PRESERVING SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS
CHRISTUS St. Vincent is committed to ensuring that access to care is extended to all citizens. Since the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, over 225,000 uninsured New Mexicans have obtained health care coverage through the expansion of Medicaid and approximately 50,000 uninsured New Mexicans have secured coverage through the health insurance marketplace. As a result of health care reform, we have seen a decrease in inpatient Medicaid numbers as outpatient numbers increase. While these statistics are encouraging, our work is not done. We must safeguard sustainable funding for the state’s expanded Medicaid program by ensuring that the State of New Mexico accesses every available federal match dollar. Additionally, we must preserve hospital supplemental payments in order to help offset the cuts hospitals have already experienced and are facing in the coming years. Maximizing federal dollars in the New Mexico Medicaid system is particularly important during this time of uncertainty. Over the last year, Congress has considered multiple measures to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and will likely continue to pursue these efforts in the coming year. CHRISTUS St. Vincent will continue to work with all stakeholders to fully fund the Safety Net Care Pool as these supplemental payments are vital to our ability to provide high-quality care to poor and uninsured New Mexicans in our community. Finally, preserving CHRISTUS St. Vincent’s Sole Community Provider status is critical to our ability to provide comprehensive health care services, which would otherwise be unavailable in Santa Fe.
CHRISTUS St. Vincent is committed to working with all interested parties to secure funding for New Mexico’s expanded Medicaid program and to preserve a reliable funding stream to ensure that hospitals that have historically relied on the Safety Net Care Pool and Sole Community Provider programs continue to receive these crucial supplemental payments.
GROWING NEW MEXICO’S WORKFORCE
CHRISTUS St. Vincent emphasizes recruiting, training, and retaining a strong New Mexican workforce to serve our community and strengthen our local economy. Recruiting and retaining top-notch candidates are essential investments in our community and are critical to our mission of providing care to all. CHRISTUS St. Vincent supports legislative efforts to grow and retain the health care provider workforce in New Mexico such as loan forgiveness programs, increased graduate medical education funding, and other measures aimed at attracting and retaining qualified candidates.
CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THE ENHANCED NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT
The legislature will need to act swiftly to pass the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. New Mexico has been a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact since 2004, but the agreement that allows qualified nurses to practice in other compact states has been updated, requiring that states pass legislation to adopt the new or “enhanced” compact in order to maintain reciprocity status with those states that have entered into the new agreement. In order for New Mexico nurses to be grandfathered in the enhanced compact, a bill will need to be introduced, passed, and signed by the Governor by January 19, 2018.
New Mexico’s continued participation in the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact is a priority for CHRISTUS St. Vincent, and we urge the legislature to act quickly to pass legislation to authorize New Mexico nurses to continue to participate in this reciprocal agreement with other member-states.