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New Mexico Office of Primary Care and Rural Health

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement

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-to-do-study-act (PDSA), high reliability organizations, and team trainings. OPCRH also: 

  • 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 learning opportunities
  • 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 training and other educational meetings provided by the New Mexico Hospital Association

New Mexico critical access hospitals (CAHs) are all using different systems and methods of reporting data and all have different electronic systems and methods of reporting data and even distribute data differently. OPCRH enlisted a contractor, iVantage, to provide technical assistance focused on quality improvement (QI) related to the Medicare Beneficiaries Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) measures. This has opened great sharing of quality measures and improvement ideas with these 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.

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement

In New Mexico, financial assessment benchmarking is being done by a group of small rural hospitals and CAH leaders. They look at the top ten financial indicators that they choose and are assessing the greatest need by the group and focus on how to improve these measures.  These activities are organized by the New Mexico Small Rural Hospital Network. This year they have focused on revenue and billing measures.

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

New Mexico is working with Eastern Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Corp to conduct leadership training based on the assessment completed last year. On-site leadership trainings are being developed and will be starting by the beginning of 2019. Through Regional Trauma Advisory Committee (ReTRAC), joint discussions and educational opportunities are being provided to CAH emergency department (ED) staff and EMS services discussing how calls went and how they can be improved on in the future are conducted throughout the state regularly. The main goal is to improve the services being provided to 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. Some of the hospital quality directors have multiple roles in the hospital and may not have a clear understanding of how to promote quality and may not even understand what value-based care is, so quality directors are excited to have opportunities to get together with other quality directors on a regular basis and learn how their role can make a difference. While CEOs already meet regularly at the New Mexico Small Rural Hospital Network meetings, they are now spending more time on quality. Bringing these individuals together to discuss what is being practiced at other hospitals or just to explain what some of the quality scores mean and where they are coming from has been beneficial in sharing best practices by higher performing hospitals has been key.

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

New Mexico has a strong networking focus. New Mexico Small Rural Hospital Network, collaborating with the Hospital Association, has regular leadership meetings but many subgroups have developed and now we have ED staff networking, quality directors, nurses, financial staff, and so many great things are being shared and learned all through these networking groups. 

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

The Flex Coordinator has been key in bringing together collaboration among the hospitals and sharing of data. 

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 Organization Website

Flex Program Staff

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

State Office Director since August 2015

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.