New Mexico governor reinstates Medicaid contracts following ethics settlement

[anvplayer video=”5188377″ station=”998122″]

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will reverse a decision to scrap all Medicaid provider contract awards following a recent settlement.

The governor and the state Human Services Department settled Thursday with the State Ethics Commission.

In September, the state HSD awarded Medicaid contracts to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, UnitedHealthcare of NM, Molina Healthcare of NM and Presbyterian Health Plan. Western Sky, the previous provider wasn’t included.

The governor subsequently scrapped those contracts in January, which drew questions from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Now, with a settlement in place, the governor will reverse her decision but doesn’t have to admit she was wrong. The HSD will also uphold the original Medicaid deal with the four companies.

The department will also notify Western Sky they didn’t get the contract upon further evaluation.

In New Mexico, nearly 980,000 people get health insurance through Medicaid. Medicaid spending in our state tops a whopping $8 billion – just slightly off of the $9.57 billion New Mexico state budget.

In April, the commission first pursued civil action after determining the cancellation violated the Procurement Code. That code is designed to:

  • Provide for the fair and equitable treatment of all persons involved in services and works on behalf of a government agency
  • Maximize the purchasing value of public funds
  • Provide safeguards for maintaining a procurement system of quality and integrity.