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NM Heart Institute ends contract with Presbyterian

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Heart Institute has terminated its contract with Presbyterian Health Plan, according to both organizations.

The change impacts 3,000 patients and goes into effect on July 12. Only Heart Institute providers based in the Albuquerque area are impacted; those who practice out of the Santa Fe area will still be part of the Presbyterian network.

Trena Chagnon, NMHI’s chief operating officer, said the decision was part of the institute’s efforts to “provide the highest quality of care and more efficient treatment” for its patients.

Brady Gear, senior director of finance and payer strategy, added that NMHI wanted to focus on its other partnerships, including those with the Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center and the University of New Mexico Hospital.

NMHI describes itself on its website as the largest cardiology practice in the state. It accepts 24 insurance plans other than Presbyterian.

In a statement, Jason Mitchell, Presbyterian Healthcare Service’s chief medical officer and senior vice president, said the company “appreciate(s) the care (NMHI has) provided our members” and will call affected members to walk them through their options, including choosing another in-network specialist.

Prescriptions written by NMHI providers will be honored by Presbyterian until the refills have been exhausted, according to a letter obtained by the Journal that Presbyterian sent to one of its members.

Chagnon said NMHI will send letters to affected patients next week with additional information. She emphasized the organization “wants to leave our relationship with Presbyterian in a respectful way.”

“This is a decision that’s in the best interest of our patient base right now,” she said. “But in the future, we hope there comes a time when we will be able to serve our Presbyterian patients again.”

Patients with questions can contact NMHI at heartcare@nmhi.com or Presbyterian at (505) 923-5988 or 1-888-923-5988.

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