Department of Health seeking additional $53.9 million for fiscal year 2023
Funding requested to address lost decade of investment in public health
Santa Fe – On Thursday, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced that it is seeking an additional $53.9 million for its Fiscal Year 2023 budget as part of an effort to strengthen health services and address the health needs of communities across the state.
“For many years prior to 2019, the state of New Mexico cut back funding in public health, and did not substantially fund services for the elderly and for people with developmental disabilities. Under Governor Lujan Grisham, we’re changing that,” said DOH Acting Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D. “In addition, the maintenance and operations of state healthcare facilities has been chronically underfunded as well, and addressing this challenge is a key priority for DOH.”
The department’s request aligns with Governor Lujan Grisham’s vision to reduce substance use across the state, improve quality and oversight in New Mexico’s boarding homes, hospitals, crisis triage centers, and other facilities, and address the 13.5-year waiting list for people with developmental disabilities to receive Medicaid waiver services,
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed deeper truths about the state of our public health infrastructure – and it has highlighted key opportunities to invest for the benefit of all New Mexicans,” said Dr. Scrase.
The funding request covers a range of key public health priorities:
Services for People with Developmental Disabilities
- $10,400,000 for provider rate increases for developmental disability service providers, some of whom are operating on rates from the early 2000’s.
- $7,500,000 to ensure services for 347 individuals from the Home and Community Based Services waivers program waiting list – and to reduce waiting time for those remaining on the list.
Adequate Oversight and Licensing of Medical Facilities and Boarding Homes
- $828,400 to ensure adequate staffing, oversight, and licensing of medical facilities.
- $200,000 to improve data integration and analytics for several programs, including the licensure and incident management system (IMS) for the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division and the Healthcare Licensure and Certification Division.
Improve Public Health
- $750,000 to provide ongoing supplies of naloxone to emergency responders, a key strategy for reducing/preventing death and injury from opiate overdoses.
- $500,000 for the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FreshRx) in partnership with Indian Health Services and/or Tribal Partners.
- $90,000 to expand the Senior Farmers Market Program.
- $1,000,000 for Teen Suicide Prevention efforts.
Epidemiology and Response and Laboratory Services
- $152,500 to fund Sexual Violence Prevention/Interventions aimed at decreasing statewide sexual violence-related injuries.
- $312,000 to fund key suicide prevention positions, including Suicide Program Evaluator, Firearm Injury Prevention Personnel.
- $1,400,000 to sustain and improve statewide Trauma Services per the Trauma Fund Act in the areas of education, equipment purchases, and injury prevention.
- $1,988,000 to fund key positions, including Data Scientist, EMS Bureau Investigator, Epidemiologist, and Climate Change Epidemiologist.
DOH Facilities, Community Program, and Administration
- $950,000 to upgrade key record-keeping technology and maintain compliance with Board of Pharmacy regulations.
- $1,100,000 to lease an automated medication dispensing system supporting decentralized medication management. This pharmacy equipment is used to help clinicians safely and efficiently dispense the correct medications to patients.
- $13,100,000 to establish an operations/maintenance budget based on a dollar per square foot standard, allowing facilities to operate safely and securely.
- $282,900 to cover the minimum wage increase effective 01/01/2022.
- $954,000 to fund key positions, including electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians.
The DOH budget request focuses on reinvigorating the agency to improve existing services, support New Mexico’s economic recovery, and invest in key areas of opportunity to equitably improve the health and wellbeing of communities across the state.