What's New at District 1199NM
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After a 12 hour shift on the COVID-19 unit at work, NUHHCE District 1199NM members share their personal story. These powerful videos share exactly what New Mexico is facing with the ongoing pandemic and why wearing a mask, social distancing and taking other steps to fight back against the coronavirus are so necessary.
We have risen to the challenge – will you?
Chanute Abe, University of New Mexico Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Martha Jarmillo - Holy Cross Hospital, Toas, New Mexico
Nick Armijo, Christus St. Vincent, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Suzanne Bell - University of New Mexico Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Exciting News about Health Security and the 2021 Legislative Session
The legislative session will be upon us before we know it. The election has resulted in positive changes in the senate, and the opportunity to pass Health Security has come. But to finally achieve success, we need your help.
The 2019 legislature started the ball rolling when it appropriated close to $400,000 for an analysis of the economic feasibility of the Health Security Plan. So, at this point, there are three studies that confirm that Health Security will save hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars within its first five years of operation. The tragic experience with COVID-19 has exposed how much we need this well-thought-out plan.
Now the time has come to roll up our sleeves and create the critical design elements that must be in place prior to the start-up of the Plan. The legislation that is being introduced in 2021 specifies how this will be accomplished.
The bill will establish a process for developing the Health Security Plan – our plan – which will provide New Mexicans with guaranteed, secure, comprehensive coverage and freedom of choice of health care providers, and will, indeed, bend the rising health cost curve.
While the 2019 Health Security Act described guidelines to be followed when developing the Health Security Plan, there are many specific decisions that need to be made. For example, how providers and health facilities will be paid, how the bulk purchasing of drugs program will function, how the appeals system will work for consumers, providers, and health facilities, and many, many more.
The 2021 Health Security Planning and Design legislation requires a publicly accountable and transparent process through which the needed design decisions will be made and those provisions put in place so that enrollment can occur and providers can be paid. Public input will be sought, advisory committees will be created, and consultants will be hired during this critical process.
As part of our ongoing “Go-Slow Approach,” the bill will describe two critical steps to ensure the best possible outcomes.
- Step 1: Creation of a Health Security Planning and Design Board whose members will have various areas of expertise (health policy, management, finance, systems design, etc.). The board will be tasked with beginning to make decisions about key Health Security Plan design elements, following the guidelines described in the 2019 Health Security Act. The legislature will then be asked to approve Step 2.*
- Step 2: Creation of a geographically and demographically representative Health Security Plan Commission consisting of consumers, business owners, health care providers, and health facility representatives. This commission, which will be responsible for administering the Plan, will complete the final design elements, conduct a cost analysis of the Plan as designed, develop a funding system based on real numbers and, finally, seek legislative and executive approval so Plan enrollment can begin.*
* Note: Any major policy change such as the one proposed by Health Security will require legislative and executive input and ultimately approval to proceed.
It will take an estimated three years to work out all the details to make certain that the Health Security Plan will perform according to expectations. We know that is a long time, but a lot of careful planning and decisions need to be made to ensure that this innovative solution performs smoothly from the start.
A major step forward for universal health coverage reform
Passing this bill will make New Mexico the first state to invest in a publicly accountable and transparent process to create our own health plan that automatically provides comprehensive and secure coverage for the overwhelming majority of state residents (as permitted under the Affordable Care Act). Our plan that offers real choice – freedom of choice of providers, including across state lines (no more networks). Our plan that three studies have concluded will slow the increase of ever-escalating health care costs. Our plan that sets up its own fund – like a co-op – that will generate additional revenue beyond what is needed to pay claims and can be used to finance New Mexico health care infrastructure.
We deeply appreciate all that you have done for the Campaign. We have now reached a critical stage. More than ever, we need your active involvement starting today so that Health Security will become a reality.
Please spread the word and, of course, contact your legislators and ask for their support.Thank you!