Wednesday News Roundup: NM Lawmakers Seek Probe Of Records Confidentiality

Oct 2, 2013

New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Goes Live - Associated Press

New Mexico officials say 170 businesses signed up for health insurance for their workers on the opening day of a state-run online marketplace.

However, individuals faced problems with a federal health insurance exchange that three dozen states, including New Mexico, relied upon for their enrollment.

New Mexico exchange executive director Mike Nunez said it was "great day" for the opening of the state-run exchange for small businesses. But Nunez acknowledged that individuals had difficulty accessing the federal exchange and also encountered long wait time if they called a federal toll-free number for assistance.

Nunez said a state-run call center had an average wait time of not quite two and a half minutes.

New Mexico Parks Reopening 2 Lakes To Boating - Associated Press

New Mexico is reopening two state park lakes for boating after recent heavy rains and flooding.

State Parks Director Tommy Mutz said boating can resume starting Friday at Brantley Lake State Park near Carlsbad and Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas.

Storrie Lake had been closed since June 2011 because of low water from severe drought conditions.

State parks officials said recent rains improved water levels at Brantley Lake but it was temporarily closed to boating because of debris that washed into the lake from recent flooding.

NM Lawmakers Seek Probe Of Records Confidentiality - Associated Press

A New Mexico legislative subcommittee wants an investigation of whether the state improperly put at risk the confidentiality of names of people treated for substance abuse.

Democratic Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City raised the possibility of violation of patient privacy laws during a subcommittee's meeting Monday.

Morales said a digital version of paperwork listing people previously treated for alcohol or drug abuse was sent in an unsecure email to new providers of mental health services.

The director of the state behavioral health services unit said Morales' allegation was news to her. Diana McWilliams also said the state is always careful to obey privacy laws.

The new providers replace ones ousted as a result of an audit that alleged fraud.