Plan To Revamp NM Medicaid Moving Forward

New Mexico – Gov. Susana Martinez's administration will pay a contractor $1.7 million to revamp the Medicaid program, which provides health care to more than a fourth of New Mexico's population.

The Human Services Department announced Friday it hopes to finish a Medicaid redesign by fall and will hold public hearings. The agency wants to implement changes within the next 18 months to two years.

The agency doesn't expect changes in state law will be necessary but the planned overhaul will require approval of the federal government, which pays for the largest share of the nearly $4 billion program. It provides health care for the poor, disabled and uninsured children.

The department said it's using federal money to pay Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Alicia Smith & Associates for 12-18 months of work.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.