Governor signs bills to improve access to health care in New Mexico

Governor signs bills to improve access to health care in New Mexico

SANTA FE, NM — Friday was decision day for New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. It was the last day for the governor to sign bills passed by lawmakers in the legislative session.

Lujan Grisham had one of the session’s top priorities on his desk Friday morning – a fix to medical malpractice insurance rules to prevent doctors from leave new mexico.

Doctors who owned independent outpatient clinics had said insurance was simply not available due to limits that were the same as those at much larger hospitals. Lawmakers took a few jabs to find a solution, eventually coming up with a belated solution that the governor signed on Friday.

Ultimately, the compromise that crossed the finish line was to create a separate level of coverage for these providers – places like eye clinics and radiology and gastroenterology facilities.

The bill was one of a handful of laws designed to strengthen health care across the state, including attracting and retaining doctors and providing support for rural emergency rooms.

“A multitude of bills all piled up that create better access, preserve and reinvest in the medical community that is here,” said Lujan Grisham. “It tells doctors and practitioners from across the state, as well as hospitals, to come here.”

There is also nearly $100 million in the budget to pay doctors more for patients who are on Medicaid.

Medical malpractice legislation got off to a slow start and reached almost a level of panic that caused the governor and lawmakers to contact a major malpractice insurer on the phone late at night to assure that they would cover doctors at the new limit.

Health care bills signed Friday:

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