Budget request directly benefits families, tribal communities, children, and the elderly – to ensure a better quality of life for all New Mexico families
SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) submitted the department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 general fund budget request to the Legislative Finance Committee, requesting a budget of $1.6 billion that will leverage an additional $8.4 billion in federal funds to assist 1,088,981 New Mexicans who will experience significant reductions in Medicaid and SNAP benefits when the COVID-19 Federal Public Health Emergency ends.
This budget request directly connects to the department’s goals and mission: To transform lives. Working with our partners, we design and deliver innovative, high-quality health and human services that improve the security and promote independence for New Mexicans in their communities.
HSD leadership thanks the Legislative Finance Committee members for their recognition of the work done by the department’s staff to improve the lives of New Mexican families.
The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 1,088,981 New Mexicans through several programs including: Medicaid, SNAP (food assistance), income supports, behavioral health, financial assistance, utility assistance, and child support.
The department is proposing five program expansions, as well as improvements to programs and services focused on innovative changes to the Medicaid program to improve health outcomes, provision of behavioral health services to New Mexicans, and further building infrastructure to serve the state and meet federal requirements.
The department’s combined state and federally funded budget request of $10.5 billion reflects a modern and responsive social safety net that strives to transform the lives of New Mexicans.
“Our mission is to transform the lives of the 1,088,981 New Mexicans we serve through our programs and services, and now we have the opportunity to develop a new Medicaid waiver to drive transformation in healthcare,” said David R. Scrase, M.D., cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “HSD has a once in a century opportunity to fund measurable improvements in health outcomes as every state dollar in Medicaid generates an additional $3.52 in a federal match – it’s a great investment that can dramatically strengthen our healthcare system that has served New Mexico so valiantly during the pandemic.”
HSD is asking for a 14.4 percent increase in its FY24 budget request. Top budget priorities include the following:
Medicaid is the largest healthcare payer in the state of New Mexico. The agency’s general fund request proposes strategic investments that will provide health coverage and support for the estimated 990,528 New Mexicans who will receive Medicaid benefits during fiscal year 2024, over 45 percent of the state’s population.
“We focus this budget on driving the New Mexico Medicaid program toward whole person care. The innovations and efforts outlined in our budget and in our upcoming Medicaid innovations waiver transform the way we deliver care to New Mexicans who experience significant health disparities — parents and children, children in the child welfare system, elders, New Mexicans with multiple, chronic conditions, people experiencing serious mental illness or substance use disorders, individuals experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, and returning citizens with experience in the justice system.” said Nicole Comeaux J.D. MPH., Director of the New Mexico Medicaid Program. “We need to invest in our providers and clinicians as well — grow our own and keep them here in New Mexico, train them and support them. We also want to better connect New Mexicans to both the medical and social support they need to improve their health and well-being, and lower healthcare costs. This budget is a giant stride in that direction.”
Specific initiatives include:
- Continuous enrollment for children up to age 6 and addition of four new home visiting models; reducing burden on families and improving access for 58 percent of New Mexico’s children.
- Medical respite housing program for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity following a hospital stay and expansion of supportive housing statewide.
- Prescription home-delivered meals for pregnant people with gestational diabetes and older adults enrolled in the community benefit program.
- Member-directed traditional healing benefits for Native Americans, enabling access to culturally responsive services.
- Statewide patient-provider closed loop referral system that improves patient access to medical, behavioral health, and non-medical services, with the expected goal of improving patient outcomes.
Since 2019, HSD has made significant progress in fixing New Mexico’s broken behavioral healthcare system by building a new behavioral health provider network, optimizing federal and state spending, and increasing New Mexicans’ access to behavioral healthcare. Its fiscal year 2024 request continues this progress by further expanding an integrated provider network and supporting the workforce, including:
- Building on the July launch of 988, the national behavioral health crisis support line, HSD is requesting a statewide expansion of the Crisis Now integrated behavioral health response system that includes Mobile Crisis Teams and Crisis Triage Centers designed to respond to a variety of behavioral health needs safely and effectively. This request will support the development and launch of half of the State’s needed system (two in urban areas, seven in rural areas, and six in frontier areas).
- Implementing Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHCs), a federally recognized model of sustainable and high quality, integrated behavioral health clinics that research demonstrates shows outcomes. The suite of required services for CCBHCs enhances and supports the already established 988 system in NM and will be launched in Eddy, Grant, Lea and Doña Ana counties as the first step towards statewide expansion.
- Raising non-Medicaid behavioral health reimbursement rates from 85 percent of Medicaid to 100 percent, eliminating the discrepancy between payments for services ineligible for Medicaid and/or other forms of insurance. HSD provided 214,951 adults with non-Medicaid behavioral health services from April 2021 – March 2022.
Human Services Infrastructure
Benefit enrollment has increased by 20 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. HSD will begin redetermining eligibility for many SNAP and Medicaid customers when the Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends. These redetermination efforts require increased staff capacity and additional IT investments, which is reflected in this request. Importantly, this fiscal year 2024 request brings HSD to a level of staffing needed that will allow HSD to meet federal requirements ensuring timely delivery of benefits and services to our 1,081,988 customers as we unwind from the PHE.
HSD is reforming its child support program to incorporate national best practices that studies show result in more consistent child support payments and employment. Proposed fiscal year 2024 investments include shifting revenue collection from program participants to state funding, supporting increased operational costs and increasing affordability by eliminating child support service fees for program participants. This budget request will benefit the 177,596 New Mexican parents and children enrolled in the program.
HSD places a top priority on the IT investments needed to reduce state spending, advance automation, improve operational efficiencies, and achieve better interaction and outcomes for the department’s 1,088,981 customers and 1,438 employees. Proposed fiscal year 2024 investments include funding to support essential information systems, enhance IT security to protect systems and data from unauthorized access.
We talk, interpret, and smile in all languages. We provide written information to our customers in both English and Spanish, and interpretation services are available in 58 languages through our provider, CTS Language Link. For our hearing, and speech impaired customers, we utilize Relay New Mexico, a free 24-hour service that ensures equal communication access via the telephone to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled.
The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 1,088,981 New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.