Governor announces legislation to unify purchasing and regulation to leverage affordable health care through Health Care Authority
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced the introduction of legislation that renames the Human Services Department as the Health Care Authority Department with the purpose of establishing a single, unified department responsible for health care purchasing, regulation, and policy. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics and Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson.
“My priority continues to be to deliver high quality health care for New Mexicans at an affordable price,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Consolidating purchasing, oversight and health care policy in one department creates an exceptional opportunity to leverage the state’s purchasing power and other policy tools to make high quality health care affordable and more accessible to all.”
Senate Bill 16 authorizes transferring the Health Improvement Division and Developmental Disabilities Division from the Department of Health and the State Health Benefits Division from the General Services Department to the Health Care Authority Department. It also transfers to the Health Care Authority Department the administratively attached Groups Benefits Committee from the General Services Department and the administratively attached Health Policy Commission from the Department of Health.
“The time has come to work on a Health Care Authority for New Mexico,” said Sen. Stefanics. “It is important to cover all New Mexicans with health care and to reduce health care costs in our state.”
“The Health Care Authority Department will help us make sure health care is affordable and accessible for everyone in our state so that all New Mexicans can keep their families healthy,” said Rep. Thomson.
In addition to the reorganization outlined in the legislation, cabinet secretaries from the Department of Finance and Administration, Department of Health, General Services Department and the Health Care Authority Department, in cooperation with other members of the administration, will develop a transition plan identifying which other units of the executive departments will transfer to or from the Health Care Authority as well as propose any statutory changes necessary to effectuate the reorganization by Nov. 1, 2023. A final reorganizational report to the legislature will be provided by Jan. 1, 2024.