SANTA FE – New Mexico doctors, nurses and health care advocacy groups spoke out Monday against the state Human Services Department’s plan to cut Medicaid provider rates, even as health care executives appeared resigned to the cost-saving move.
The proposed rate reductions, which were unveiled last month and would generate as much as $33.5 million in state-level savings, are a fallout of New Mexico’s budget crunch. They would take effect in July.
Lorie MacIver, an Albuquerque nurse and labor leader, was one of more than a dozen people who spoke at a Medicaid Advisory Committee hearing in Santa Fe. Like most of the others who spoke, she expressed concern about the state’s plan to address a daunting funding shortfall in the joint state-federal health care program.
“We are extremely concerned that the poorest and most vulnerable people of New Mexico are going to be hurt the worst,” MacIver said.
Meanwhile, Albuquerque physician Jennifer Anderson urged top HSD officials to consider ways to find more dollars instead of cutting costs, saying she’s concerned the provider rate cuts could hurt the state’s ability to recruit new physicians.