Health | National

New Mexico tribes upset with consultation process for Medicaid





Tribes in New Mexico said state officials haven't done enough to consult them about proposed changes in the Medicaid program.

The state's Human Services Department is seeking a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in order to gain more flexibility in administering about $1 billion in annual Medicaid funds. The so-called Centennial Care plan would affect 560,000 state residents, including thousands of tribal members.

However, the state failed to notify all of the tribes of the proposed changes. So CMS ended up sending a copy of the waiver to the tribes in late May, a month after the request was made.

"I am very offended that they still do not understand tribes," Jemez Pueblo Gov. Joshua Madalena told state lawmakers at a hearing on Monday, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

"The Centennial Care plan was provided to the tribes after the fact," added Shelly Chimoni of the All Indian Pueblo Council.

Get the Story:
Administration, tribal officials clash over Medicaid changes (The Santa Fe New Mexican 6/26)