New Mexico is fascinating right now on the health policy front. They are going big:
United States of Care applauds the passage of New Mexico’s Medicaid Buy-in Act out of the State House HHS Committee and the State Senate Public Affairs Committee!https://t.co/Nut0YqCl5m
— United States of Care (@USofCare) February 15, 2019
New Mexico has been working towards a Medicaid buy-in program for a couple of years now. They have outlined options and weighed some of the trade-offs. Right now an off-exchange only buy-in is the simplest lift but they are thinking about other, more comprehensive and more complex, options as well.
And New Mexico is going small:
NM’s dental therapist bill is in the House State Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee this morning! Let’s make New Mexico the next state to improve oral health! #nmleg https://t.co/5TeTpKC0Fo
— Health Action NM (@HealthActionNM) February 20, 2019
The bill passed the house. It will expand the scope of practice for dental technicians to do more. Dental therapists have started to become common on the West Coast and the Mountain West as a way to get some services out into under-served communities including American Indian reservations. Dental therapists should put some downward pressure on provider pricing. It is a step that addresses an immediate need of taking care of teeth, an intermediate need of placing downward pressure on some medical prices, and a long term objective of reducing inflammation which should reduce negative health events.
New Mexico is going big and New Mexico is going small. Successfully changing systems of care require both. And these two things don’t need to be locked together. If you live in a state that can’t or won’t go big, you still likely live in a state that can go small. Little nudges and hip checks are useful correctives.