Public Comment Period Open on UNMH Lease Agreement – Act Now through October 8th!
Bernalillo County has released its draft MOU with UNM Hospital for public comment. The draft agreement lays out the provisions for Hospital expenditures connected to the $95+ million/year mill levy-property tax money that county voters approved last November.
- Information on the MOU can be found by clicking here
- Written comments can be submitted here: Note: use pull-down menu to select "UNMH Lease Agreement" - currently the default is "North Valley Library Re-Naming"
- Actual text of the MOU and “Exhibits” can be found here
Bernalillo County Commission appointed a Health Care Task Force in 2014 to provide recommendations on the lease negotiations and agreement. Their comprehensive recommendations can be found here.
Today, we are providing sample 150-word talking points for 2 of the 3 over-arching recommendation areas where the draft MOU falls far short of task force recommendations. The 3 areas of grave concern are:
- Assure Healthcare Coverage for All County Residents
- Build an Integrated System of Primary Care and Navigation Support
- Increase County Oversight and Accountability for Mill Levy Funds
(sample) Talking points for #1: Assure Healthcare Coverage for all county residents
Follow all six of the Commission’s Health Care Task Force over-arching recommendations for the UNM Hospital lease agreement.
Assure healthcare coverage for all BernCo residents - beginning with the 50,000 uninsured residents under 250% of federal poverty level. Given $95Million+/year in public funds, the MOU should require UNMH to provide healthcare coverage for all uninsured county residents. NO low-income resident should be excluded from UNMCare, or successor safety net program, for their medically necessary care, as they are now.
UNMH financial assistance programs should have simple qualification rules based on county residence and financial need. The programs should be widely promoted and affordable. Low-income residents should not be required to seek other health insurance prior to being screened for and enrolled in UNMH financial assistance. No uninsured or low-income residents should be required to pay medically-necessary surgery costs upfront or have bills sent to collections.
(sample) Talking points for #2: Build an integrated system of primary care and navigation support
The County Commission’s Health Care Task Force recommendations for the UNM Hospital lease agreement includes Recommendation 4.1: Expand community-based outreach and navigation support in the health system through the Pathways Program and other community programs.
The draft MOU Mutual Covenant B.2. addresses navigation services in a vague manner compared with 2008 MOU Mutual Covenants C.3. This same clear language must be applied to the new MOU. First, the purpose of the programs should be clearly stated, to “expand community-based outreach and navigation support in the health system through community-based programs.” Second, a Program MOU for each of the “navigational services programs” and the “transition planning and case management services program” should accompany the official MOU document prior to signing. Third, the Pathways Program should be designated $1.2 million of the amount stated in Covenant B.2. to continue to perform community-based navigation services through multiple organizations, as the program is designed.
We will be posting a sample talking point for #3: Increase county oversight and accountability for mill levy funds soon.
Please check back on the juntosnm.org/public_comment website for additional information!
Thanks for taking action – and please spread the word to other community members to act now, before October 8th!
Juntos para salud / Together for health!