The Health and Human Services Health Care Division, formerly the County Indigent Department, was incorporated under the Health and Human Services Department during a countywide re-organization in 2002. Initially, following the re-organization, the Health Care Division’s activities focused largely on streamlining Indigent Application and Claims processing.
Over the period of time, the focus has been redirected to improving coordination, communication and collaboration among contracted providers. This is accomplished at both the Division and Department levels, through improved application and funding processes, contract monitoring and the support and guidance of the Health and Human Services Alliance.
Through the Alliance Access to Care Committee, the Division has facilitated the acquisition of funding and supported the development of a county-wide Management Information System (MIS) expected to vastly improve coordination and delivery of health and human services to county residents. This interagency web-based program will initially focus on providing an integrated healthcare delivery system for uninsured and underinsured residents of Doña Ana County.
Indigent Health Care
The Division is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the County Indigent (IHC) program. In addition to application and claims processing for patients receiving services at Memorial Medical Center and Mountain View Regional Medical Center, the Division works with outlying hospitals when a county Indigent resident is referred to a higher level of care than available in the local area. It also coordinates IHC payments for primary care and emergency transportation services for Indigent residents receiving services through Ben Archer Health Center, First Step, Hatch Ambulance, La Clinica de Familia, Mesilla Valley Hospice, and American Medical Response.
The County anticipates providing over $8.5 Million in 2007-2008 toward Memorial Medical Center and Mountain View Regional Medical Center’s cost of care for county Indigent residents. These County funds will leverage an additional $22 Million of Federal funding in 2007-2008 to assist the hospitals with their costs of providing uncompensated care. In FY 2005-2006, these funds provided for over 8,500 county indigent claims from the local hospitals at an adjusted total (approximately 55 percent of billed amount) of $7,027,414.
Health and Human Services - Contracted Providers
In addition to its two acute care hospitals, the County provides financial support to a variety of public, non-profit entities in support of the Department’s goals and objectives to identify and address unmet health and human services needs for county residents. In 2006-2007, the County provided over $3,750,000 in financial assistance toward those objectives. Services delivered under these contracts, in 2005-2006 reflect over 70,122 encounters and 39,280 unduplicated residents receiving services from these contracted providers. In 2006-2007, the following entities received financial support from Doña Ana County:
- Ben Archer Health Center
- Chaparral health Council
- Dept. of Health District III
- First Step Center
- Forensic Intervention of Doña Ana County
- Hatch Ambulance
- La Clinica de Familia
- La Pinon
- LCPS – Health Clinic
- MV CASA
- MV Hospice
- MV Pregnancy Resource Center
- Planned Parenthood
- St. Luke’s
- American Medical Response
Additionally, the County provided reimbursements to UNM Medical Center, RE Thomason, and several other hospitals that provided specialized care, not available locally, for County Indigent residents. The County also provides for the cremation and burial of Indigent residents who do not have an identifiable next of kin.
External Agency Funding Application and Award Process
Annually, generally in February, the County issues applications for the following year’s funding based on specific goals and objectives recommended by the HHS Alliance. Applications for 2007-2008 will focus on the broad categories of Clinical Services, Health Education and Promotion and Behavioral Health Services. Separate applications are devised for each of the broad categories, with specific subcategories noted in the application. Agencies wishing to apply for funding in one of the broad categories must work with other agencies in that category to submit a single joint application.
The Health Care Division works very closely with providers to maximize coordination and collaboration, particularly in regards to Indigent healthcare case management. The Division hosts semi-monthly Case Management sessions for external providers to bring difficult Indigent cases for discussion and resolution. Participants include eligibility workers from Memorial Medical Center, Mountain View Regional Medical Center, First Step Center, Ben Archer and La Clinica de Familia.
Due to the requirement that the Indigent program be the payer of last resort, Case Management sessions frequently involve discussions about the vast array of entitlement programs that may be available for a specific client.