New Mexico Medicaid expands services with Community Health Workers

State Agency Press Release – From The New Mexico Human Services Department

CHWs are trusted community members who promote overall health 

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) announced today that Community Health Workers (CHW) and Community Health Representatives (CHR) are now able to be reimbursed for providing services to Medicaid members. 

“Integrating community health workers and community health representatives within Medicaid is yet another step toward addressing health disparities and delivering higher quality medical care for New Mexicans in their communities.” said Alanna Dancis, Chief Medical Officer for the New Mexico Medicaid Program. “CHWs and CHRs bring a trusted presence and deep community connections that will enhance our efforts to ensure equitable and accessible health care for all.” 

CHWs, CHRs, also known around the state as Tribal Community Health Representatives, and Promotoras, are trained, frontline public health workers who serve as a bridge between communities, health care systems, and state health departments. This trusted relationship allows CHWs and CHRs to help New Mexicans navigate complex medical systems and often act as liaisons between the communities where they live and the medical system. 

New Mexico will be the first state to provide CHWs and CHRs with a standing order that eliminates the need to obtain an order from a physician or clinician every time they see a new Medicaid member. This will allow CHWs and CHRs to work with greater autonomy and serve the most vulnerable Medicaid members, including individuals who do not regularly access health care. 

New Mexico Medicaid has posted detailed guidelines to assist CHWs and CHRs who wish to provide services to Medicaid members.