N.M. Scored Higher-Than-Average in Annual Survey
New Mexicans who receive behavioral health and substance abuse services through the state’s Medicaid and other programs say they are overwhelmingly pleased with the services they are getting through those efforts.
The state scored above the national satisfaction levels in 10 of 14 categories of services delivered, according to a recent survey of adults and the caregivers for children who receive services.
The findings in the 2016 New Mexico Behavioral Health Consumer, Family/Caregiver Satisfaction Project were based on interviews with 2,200 adults and caregivers for children. The annual survey was conducted for the New Mexico Human Services Department.
The consumers of the services were asked questions about how they felt about seven service categories, including access to care, participation in treatment and the outcomes they experienced. In most of those categories the state received scores that were higher than the national averages.
In the outcomes category, 75.5 percent of New Mexico adults said they were satisfied with the services, compared to the national average of 69.9 percent.
When it came to access to services for adults, the state had an 80.6 percent satisfaction rate compared to the national rate of 84.8 percent.
The results were similar for the caregivers of children who receive the services. In the outcomes category, the state had a 78.3 percent satisfaction rate, which was higher than the national average of 69.9 percent.
And when it came to having access to programs for those children, the state had an 80.6 percent satisfaction rate, which was below the national average of 84.1 percent.
HSD Secretary Brent Earnest said he was pleased with the survey results, but said the state will work to make sure the department’s consumers get even better services in the future.
“This is encouraging news; we’re continuing to strengthen our behavioral health system as we prioritize care and treatment for the most vulnerable New Mexicans – while serving more of those who need help than ever before,” Earnest said.
“Thanks to recent Centennial Care [New Mexico’s Medicaid program] reforms, the Medicaid system identifies patients’ needs sooner and better connects them with the care they need, which has contributed to the 75 percent increase in access to mental health and substance abuse services. We are building upon this success and experience as we work to craft the next iteration of Centennial Care.”
Another HSD official told freeabq.com that the survey results are used to find ways to improves the service. The results are shared with the state’s behavioral health and substance abuse medical providers, the official said.
“We consider this a quality improvement process, because that is the next step,” the official said. “We ask the consumers and family members to tell, us how we are doing, and then we ask our managed care providers what they are going to do with the findings and how they can improve services.”
According to HSD, 51,668 adults and 28,841 children in the state receive behavioral health services through Medicaid and other programs.
In New Mexico, more than 904,000 people are on Medicaid, the joint federal-state health care program for low-income adults and children from low-income families.