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    Updated Nov. 21

    Bernalillo County will be taking the UNM Hospital MOU and Exhibits to the County Commission for approval on December 12, 2017. Four documents are attached for public information. Document #1 is the revised agreement in its entirety, with revisions based on public comment, commissioner comment, and discussions with UNMH and the IHS after the public comment period ended in early October. Document #2 (formatted for 8.5 x 14 paper) contains only the key sections where language compromise was reached with UNMH so that readers can see, side-by-side, how the language changed from the September 2017 public review draft to the draft going to the County Commission on December 12. The contents of document #2 are embedded within document #1. Documents #3 and #4 contain the verbatim public comments and correspondence that Bernalillo County received between September 8 – October 8, 2017. All of these documents reflect an inclusive, transparent, and accountable process that Bernalillo County employed for the past two years in working with UNMH, the Indian Health Service, the All Pueblo Council of Governors, and the general public to develop an agreement for the next eight years that will contribute toward implementing the 2014 Health Care Task Force Report.

    This document is the revised agreement in its entirety, with revisions based on public comment, commissioner comment, and discussions with UNMH and the IHS after the public comment period ended in early October.

    This document contains only the key sections where language compromise was reached with UNMH so that readers can see, side-by-side, how the language changed from the September 2017 public review draft to the draft going to the County Commission on December 12. The contents of this document are embedded within the document above (UNM Hospital MOU and Exhibits). Formatted for 8.5 x 14 paper.

    This document contains the verbatim public comments and correspondence that Bernalillo County received between September 8 – October 8, 2017. File type: Excel speadsheet converted into 11x17 PDF.

    This document contains the verbatim public comments and correspondence that Bernalillo County received between September 8 – October 8, 2017. This file includes comments that did not fit in the above spreadsheet, such as longer letters and emails. File type: PDF

     

    The 30-day public comment period closed at the end of day on Sunday, Oct. 8.

    Bernalillo County thanks you for your comments. All comments will be reviewed with UNMH, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and representatives from the All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG). The Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners will also receive your comments. If there are any changes made to the UNMH Lease Agreement, the updated version will be posted on the county’s website. Please check back on this site for the next steps as to when the County Commission will have this item on its agenda for approval.


    The community is invited to provide comment until Oct. 8 on the final draft of an agreement between Bernalillo County, the University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH) and the Indian Health Service.

    The draft 2017 memorandum of understanding has multiple provisions, which broadly outline how UNMH can be more responsive on providing care for Bernalillo County residents. UNMH receives about $95 million a year in voter-approved mill levy property taxes designated for operations of the hospital. The majority of Bernalillo County voters supported this measure in November 2016.

    The mill levy question is placed on the ballot for voter approval every eight years. The Bernalillo County Treasurer’s Office collects and distributes the property tax funds to UNMH.

    The draft memorandum of understanding covers a range of objectives that UNMH will address, including:

    • Report quarterly to the Board of County Commissioners, providing updates on hospital operations, including budget and programmatic changes
    • Establish mechanisms for the public to provide input on medical and behavioral health operations, planning and development
    • Work on increasing its number of primary care facilities the next four years
    • Decrease emergency room waiting times
    • Improve general healthcare services available to Native Americans
    • Recruit and train specialists in medical specialties most needed by Native Americans; work with Indian Health Service to provide Native American patients access to specialty clinics
    • Evaluate the use of telemedicine consultation between Metropolitan Detention Center and UNMH
    • Provide professional staff for a downtown Metropolitan Detention Center triage center for individuals brought in by law enforcement; provide case management services to county’s Resource Reentry Center for people released from the Metropolitan Detention Center
    • Confer with the county and Albuquerque Public Schools about the feasibility of addressing students’ medical and behavioral health needs in school-based clinics
    • Offer financial assistance for qualifying low-income patients; fees, co-pays or down payments for medically necessary care will be reasonably related to income

    “Our community depends on the highly-skilled medical services that UNMH provides to Bernalillo County and people from all over New Mexico, regardless of whether they have adequate medical insurance,” says Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley. “Bernalillo County and UNM Hospitals are working together on a mutually beneficial agreement that will serve the diverse needs of everyone who uses these public facilities. I encourage the community to take a look at this draft agreement and send us their comments.”

    “UNMH and Bernalillo County are committed to providing exceptional health care for the residents of Bernalillo County, such as the UNM Children’s Hospital, the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center and UNM’s Clinical Neurosciences and Stroke Center. As the state’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, we remain focused on delivering high-level care to all of our patients 24/7,” says UNMH CEO Steve McKernan. “Important to our mission is continually assessing and improving Native American health programs by working directly with our statewide Native American communities. It is our goal to ensure transparency in the use of public funds to support the needs of our population. We value the community’s feedback on this draft agreement.”

    The public will have 30 days to review and comment on the draft memorandum of understanding. To review and/or comment on the proposed agreement, see below.

    Following the comment period, the Board of County Commissioners and the UNMH Board of Trustees have to approve the agreement before it’s effective.

    Historical Background: A long-standing federal agreement between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bernalillo County makes the county responsible for operating the hospital known as UNMH.

    A 1952 agreement provides for the operation of a licensed hospital by the county on land that was transferred to the county by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    Since 1978, Bernalillo County has relied upon UNMH to operate the hospital through a mutual agreement that is renegotiated every eight years.

    Click here to read the full memorandum of understanding.

     

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