At a press conference today, New Mexico Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier released HSD's Medicaid "concept paper," a 43-page document outlining the state's plan for revamping Medicaid.


The concept paper (scroll down to read it) is the product of several months' work by health services contractor Alicia Smith & Associates, whom the state paid approximately $1.7 million to produce it.

Approximately half a million New Mexicans use Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to low-income families and individuals.

The concept paper outlines what the state is calling its "Centennial Care" plan. According to a news release from HSD, which administers Medicaid on the state level, the new plan "modernizes" Medicaid "without eliminating recipients, cutting necessary services, or increasing costs for the providers of those services."

The plan's larger objectives sound universally appealing, and they include things like "health literacy" and "prevention." But some of Medicaid patient advocates' concerns during the modernization scoping process last summer are also borne out. For instance, the idea of a comprehensive "super waiver," which would lump together HIV/AIDS sufferers with developmentally disabled Medicaid recipients, is part of the plan.

Still, the process isn't over: HSD must now submit its proposed plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees Medicaid. If it's approved, HSD says it expects to begin implementing the plan "by the end of 2013."

SFR reporter Colleen Keane was at the press conference and will have more later; for now, check out the concept paper below: