More work needed to resolve NM’s medical provider challenge

According to recent news reports (and RGF’s own work) more work needs to be done to address New Mexico’s medical provider crisis, especially in rural areas. Talk of an obstetrics “desert” and two-thirds of hospitals in the state with expenses exceed their revenue over the last 12 months dominated recent hearings.

For starters, New Mexico is by no means alone in facing a health care shortage. A recent Wallethub report ranked the State 34th overall. America’s increasingly government-driven health care system is inherently dysfunctional.

However, while the Legislature tackled some low-hanging fruit in the last session like addressing medical malpractice, ending GRT on medical providers, and pumping up Medicaid reimbursements, there is more to be done and this is where it gets difficult. Also, some issues impacting the supply of health practitioners (like immigration policy) are not under state control.

  • Reducing the State’s Medicaid dependency is a starting point with 47% of the State’s population on the government program.
  • Expanding New Mexico’s scope of practice laws and increasing use of telemedicine.
  • Reduce income taxes (doctors are high earning professionals)
  • Work broadly to improve the economy, especially in rural areas.

There is plenty to be done. We’ll see if Gov. Lujan Grisham and the Legislature have the will to take on these challenging issues.

The Challenge of Rural Health Care




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7 Replies to “More work needed to resolve NM’s medical provider challenge”

  1. We can only hope that Santa Fe will do something that will really help, but I hold out little hope. At least now we have some doctors and dentists in the area (east mts.) And really good EMTs. It is hard for us older folks, who are retired to get into Abq. for treatment especially in winter.

    1. They acted last session due to public pressure. That needs to continue, but the solutions are not as simple and quite frankly Washington needs to help, not hinder.

  2. Someone needs to look at the managed care organizations who affect providers viability in the state. They control provider contracts . etc. I cam a provider experiencing harsh treatment from Presbyterian. My income has been taken from me
    . I an not alone. I an a behavioral health provider almost in the street suffering. I an not alone.

    1. I agree. The whole health care system in our nation is in need of a healthy dose of individual choice and free markets, but we continue to go further down the socialist path. Managed care is not consumer choice.

  3. Don’t forget reinstitution conscience laws! Medical providers in New Mexico are required to perform or refer for abortions, which many will not do. I personally know one doctor who moved because of this and a current NM medical student who would like to consider becoming an OBGYN but feels that she can’t due to this onerous law.

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