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New Mexico Office of Primary Care and Rural Health

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement

In the area of quality improvement, the New Mexico Flex Program:

  • Fosters a learning organization environment by improving support for hospital quality directors including data and analytics, performance improvement, regulatory and accreditation, population health, quality review and accountability and patient safety
  • Provides ongoing quality improvement support to the quality improvement leads through email, phone calls, site visits or training and education opportunities
  • Hosts quarterly virtual meetings and one in-person opportunity per year for all the Quality Directors representing the participating hospitals to network and share learnings
  • Provides webinars on specific clinical topics to improve patient safety on select, nationally accepted Flex-related indicators
  • Promotes and supports hospital participation in patient safety trainings and other educational meetings provided by the New Mexico Hospital Association (NMHA)

The New Mexico Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH) collaborates with contractors to support hospitals in their continued shared accountability of patient safety by offering hospital staff, senior leaders and physicians on-site education regarding their roles in quality, patient safety and process improvement through plan-do-study-act (PDSA), high reliability organizations and team training.

Please share a success story about reporting quality data or using quality data to help Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in your state improve patient care.

New Mexico critical access hospitals (CAHs) are all using different systems and methods of reporting data and all have different methods of sharing data with staff. This year, OPCRH enlisted a contractor to provide technical assistance focused on quality improvement (QI) related to the Medicare Beneficiaries Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) measures. This has opened many great conversations on quality measures and improvement ideas with quality directors. New Mexico rural hospitals are identifying areas of QI and using a network-based approach to facilitate best practice exchanges among the participating hospitals.

As part of the technical assistance, each CAH has developed a targeted Performance Improvement Plan. CAHs receive access to market, quality, safety, patient satisfaction and financial performance data for comparative analysis. This has resulted in the implementation of a statewide performance measurement and benchmarking system for financial, operational and quality measures consistent with MBQIP. Establishing quality benchmarks has enabled the Flex Program to identify poorly performing CAHs in need of education and support. The top performing hospitals are being publicly recognized by their peers.

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement

In New Mexico, financial assessment benchmarking is being done by a group of small rural hospital and CAH leaders. The top 10 financial indicators are assessed and best practices are utilized to improve these indicators for the facilities that need the most improvements. Improvement goals are determined by hospital leaders and financial improvement activities are organized by the New Mexico Small Rural Hospital Network.

Program Area: Support for Population Health Management and Emergency Medical Services Integration

OPCRH has enlisted a subcontractor to conduct a statewide needs assessment of emergency medical services (EMS) and CAH emergency department (ED) staff. The assessment reviewed training needs, population health issues within service areas, barriers to service and existing community outreach programs. A plan is now being developed to organize on-site trainings for EMS and CAH ED staff. In addition, the subcontractor will provide Retrac meetings on a regular basis across the state where EMS and hospital ED staff can discuss use cases and how improvements can be made to better serve the public. 

Please provide information about any efforts to assist CAHs/communities and partner organizations in the transition to value-based care.

OPCRH has conducted face-to-face visits with quality directors and hospital Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to discuss upcoming Flex activities and encourage their participation in value-based care. Quality directors are excited to have opportunities to get together with other quality directors on a regular basis, while CEOs already meet regularly at New Mexico's Small Rural Hospital Network meetings. Some of the hospital quality directors have multiple roles in the hospital and may not have a clear understanding of how to promote quality or even understand value-based care. Bringing these individuals together to discuss what is being practiced, explaining what some of the quality scores are showing, and providing best practices from the higher performers are key parts in this transition.

Please provide information about network activities in your state to support Flex Program activities.

New Mexico has a strong Small Rural Hospital Network where CEOs meet face-to-face on a quarterly basis. Leadership staff meet with each other over the phone to discuss best practices and areas of concern. NMHA has been contracted to bring together the quality directors of the hospitals on a virtual conference call so they can begin discussing best practices. The Small Rural Hospital Network has also brought together hospital Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) to work on financial improvements for the CAHs, and they are sharing financial data and best practices on a regular basis.

Please describe how your state Flex Program has enhanced its use of data in the past year.

New Mexico CAHs are openly sharing data with one another through a contractor who has been explaining how HCAHPS scores are determined and how improvements can be made to those scores. Acknowledgements are given to high performers and assistance is given to lower performers with best practice ideas.

Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?


Program Statistics

Type of Organization State Government
Staffing 1.0 FTE
Number of CAHs 10
Website URL None listed

Flex Program Staff

Tim Lopez
State Office Director, New Mexico
(505) 222-8671

State Office Director since August 2015

Anita Lovato
Flex Coordinator, New Mexico
(505) 222-8672

Flex Coordinator since December 2013

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,100,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.