The New Mexico Department of Health has missed its mark for early childhood health services and needs to create a whole new strategy to improve health outcomes. That’s according to a new report from the state Legislative Finance Committee.
The LFC analyzed six maternal and child health programs within DOH. They found the department spends $96 million on those programs every year, but they’re not helping people as much as they should.
The biggest problem the LFC found is that those programs don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t share their data often enough. That siloed structure means folks who are trying to get basic health care services from the state have to wind through a maze of offices and phone calls. Sometimes they might not ever get what they need because the process is so complicated.
On top of that, the state doesn’t really know how well those programs are doing or the impact they’re having. The report says that having a better understanding could help the state be more effective.
The LFC’s recommendations include developing a single centralized program so people can easily figure out how to get what they need and making good use of the Children’s Cabinet that Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham resurrected this year.
Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.