New Mexico enacts crisis standards of care for hospitals

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Health announced the enactment of Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) for the state’s health care system Monday.

Health officials said the pandemic has placed an enormous, ongoing and unsustainable strain on the state’s health care system. They said the strain has been exacerbated by the volume of COVID-19 patients – almost all of whom are unvaccinated.

“Because of COVID, New Mexico hospitals and health care facilities have carried an unmanageable burden," NMDOH Acting Secretary David Scrase said. "Today, the state is offering clarity and support as providers seek to make difficult choices about how to allocate scarce – and precious – health care resources. The goals, as always, remain the same: to save as many New Mexican lives as possible, and to help sustain the health care providers who have sustained our communities throughout this entire pandemic."

Crisis standards of care were last implemented in New Mexico in December 2020.

What does Crisis Standards of Care mean for patients and providers?

NMDOH: Hospitals and providers are already faced with difficult choices about who gets care. Now, under CSC, facilities statewide will use a more standardized and equitable procedure for making those decisions. In addition, before a facility reaches this point, they must temporarily suspend non-medically-necessary procedures.

This is a developing story. Tommy Lopez will have the latest on KOB 4 at 5 p.m.