HOUSE BILL 349
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Rebecca Dow and Elizabeth "Liz” Thomson and
Patricia Roybal Caballero
RELATING TO HEALTH CARE; AMENDING A SECTION OF THE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ACT TO ESTABLISH CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR BIRTHING WORKFORCE RETENTION FUND AWARDS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 41-5-26.1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2008, Chapter 73, Section 1, as amended) is amended to read:
"41-5-26.1. BIRTHING WORKFORCE RETENTION FUND CREATED.--
A. The "birthing workforce retention fund" is created in the state treasury. The purpose of the fund is to provide malpractice insurance premium assistance for certified nurse-midwives, licensed midwives or physicians whose insurance premium costs jeopardize their ability to continue their obstetrics practices in New Mexico. The fund shall consist of appropriations, gifts, grants and donations to the fund. The fund shall be administered by the department of health, and money in the fund is appropriated to the department of health for the purpose of making awards pursuant to the provisions of this section.
B. The department of health shall develop procedures and rules for the application for and award of money from the birthing workforce retention fund, including criteria upon which to evaluate the need of the applicant and the merits of the application. The rules shall require that the applicant be a certified nurse-midwife licensed in New Mexico, a licensed midwife in New Mexico or a physician licensed in New Mexico and that the applicant demonstrate need by showing that medicaid patients or indigent patients constitute at least one-half of the obstetric practice of the applicant. The certified nurse-midwife, licensed midwife or physician shall have a malpractice liability insurance policy in force. Subject to availability of funds, an award shall not be less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) and not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). An award shall be disbursed based on the percentage of medicaid patients or indigent patients seen in the practice and on the certified nurse-midwife's, licensed midwife's or the physician's intent to continue obstetrics practice in New Mexico during the period covered by the award. The award shall be disbursed to the individual or employer who is the actual purchaser of the malpractice liability insurance policy. An award shall not be granted to provide premium assistance for tail coverage purchased upon practice termination. Priority for the awarding of money from the birthing workforce retention fund shall be in the following order:
(1) to certified nurse-midwives; [and]
(2) to family practice physicians and obstetricians; and
(3) to licensed midwives.
C. The department of health shall annually report to the legislative finance committee on the status of the birthing workforce retention fund.
D. Disbursements from the birthing workforce retention fund shall be made by warrant of the department of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of health or the secretary's authorized representative. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert but shall remain to the credit of the fund.
E. As used in this section, "tail coverage" means insurance coverage providing an extended reporting period for any claims related to conduct that occurred during the period covered by a claims-based medical malpractice policy after it has expired or been canceled."
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