New Mexico Cancels Planned Medicaid Rate Cuts
The New Mexico Human Services Department is canceling planned cuts in rates paid to behavioral health care providers treating Medicaid patients. The reimbursement rate cuts were set to go in effect Jan. 1. But state Human Services officials reversed course earlier this month on cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates for certain psychiatric and therapeutic services, according to a memo Human Services sent to providers. The move means financial relief for companies offering mental health and addiction services to patients enrolled in the state and federal program that insures health care for low-income people. But it also means more financial strain on New Mexico’s Medicaid program, which has been on the chopping block this year after reductions in oil and gas revenues the state collects blew a multimillion-dollar hole in New Mexico’s budget. Gov. Susana Martinez in March signed into law a state budget bill that directed the Human Services Department to slash Medicaid spending by cutting reimbursement rates paid to providers of both physical and behavioral health care. State officials’ target last spring of $30 million in Medicaid cuts also meant forgoing roughly $110 million in federal matching dollars for the program. Despite volatile state revenues and the gradual reduction in federal Medicaid funding for newly eligible enrollees, which is set to begin in 2017, New Mexico’s Medicaid program continues to expand. Newly released state figures show that as of November, 888,447 New Mexicans were enrolled in Medicaid, a 6.4 percent increase in a year. That’s 42 percent of the state’s population of just over 2 million.
Source/more: Santa Fe New Mexican
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.