New Mexico establishes office of health care reform

New Mexico has expanded its Health Care Reform Leadership Team into a full fledged Office of Health Care Reform tasked with implementing the state’s plan for federal heath care reform legislation passed earlier this year. Last month, the leadership team presented a strategic plan outlining how federal health care reform requirements will be managed in New Mexico – the Governor signed off on the plan and established the office.

The office will operate inside the New Mexico Human Services Department using existing staff resources. The original leadership team however, will expand to include six new members including:

  • The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration,
  • The Secretary of the Public Education Department,
  • The Secretary of the Higher Education Department,
  • The Director of the Risk Management Division of the General Services Department,
  • The Director of the Workers’ Compensation Administration, and
  • The Director of the Women’s Health Advisory Council.

The first meeting of the expanded group will take place on August 18, 2010 and will be open to the public. The Office is required to make all legislative proposals for health care reform implementation by November 1 of this year in order to have them taken up in the 2011 legislative session.

“Implementing the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a very big task and must be done carefully to ensure all New Mexicans will benefit from health care reform,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “The Office of Health Care Reform will collaborate with the expanded Leadership Team to lead the executive branch in establishing policies, priorities, and objectives for state government’s comprehensive effort in reaching our goals for implementation.”