Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 27, 2014—New Mexico Legislature Passes Community Health Workers Act

United States-Mexico Border Health Commission

May 27, 2014—New Mexico Legislature Passes Community Health Workers Act

The U.S.-México Border Health Commission wishes to share the following announcement:

During the 2014 Legislative Session, New Mexico legislators passed the Community Health Workers Act, thus enabling the New Mexico Department of Health to offer voluntary certification for community health workers (CHWs) in the state. Governor Susana Martinez chose CHW training and certification among her priority initiatives, recognizing the value and contributions of this critical workforce toward meeting the health needs of New Mexico’s rural and underserved populations.

Next Steps

    • The Department is working on the necessary steps to promulgate rules and regulations that will guide the bill’s implementation, to include the launch of a program that will offer standardized core competency trainings and endorse specialty trainings for specific health topic areas.
    • A CHW generalist certification will be offered that can be augmented with certification for a particular specialty area(s). Certification through grandfathering will be available for a specified period. While CHW certification will be a key activity, the overall goal is to support the CHW profession and workforce.
    • Training, technical assistance, and promotion of career development will be offered to all CHWs, regardless of certification status. Venues for stable funding of CHW services, including but not limited to Medicaid reimbursement, are being explored.
  • A CHW webpage is in progress and will provide updates on the initiative’s progress.

This announcement may be of interest to border health partners and others in the U.S.-México border region.

For More Information

—Contact Christina Carrillo by phone at (505) 222-8671 or email her at

—To view Senate Bill 58: Community Health Workers Actclick here.


For more information on the activities of the United States-México Border Health Commission, please visit our websiteUnited States-Mexico Border Health Commission 






CDC Six new opportunities for funding Public Health Action

Over the next several days, CDC is announcing the availability of six new funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to advance the nation’s chronic disease prevention and health promotion efforts. 

  • All six FOAs address one or more of the leading risk factors for the major causes of death and disability in the United States: tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity.
  • A number of the FOAs also address key health system improvements and community supports to help Americans manage their chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.
  • All the FOAs involve partnerships at the national, state, or local level because public health cannot solve these problems alone.

Through these FOAs, CDC is concentrating resources on key risk factors and major diseases that contribute substantially to suffering, disability, and premature death among Americans. Together, the six FOAs form a mutually reinforcing set of activities designed, in synergy, to reach the overall goals of reducing:

  • Rates of death and disability due to tobacco use by 5%.
  • Prevalence of obesity by 3%.
  • Rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke by 3%.

Individually, each FOA contributes uniquely to these goals by:

  • Working through unique awardees (e.g., state health departments, national organizations).
  • Delivering interventions to unique populations (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, populations with very high obesity rates).
  • Emphasizing specific interventions (e.g., health system improvements, environmental approaches).
  • Implementing interventions in specific places (e.g., large cities, tribes).
  • Addressing specific risk factors, disease management, or both (e.g., tobacco use, obesity, high blood pressure). 

(DP14-1417) Partnership to Improve Community Health (see CDC website: and

(DP14-1418) National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention (see and CDC website

(DP14-1419PPHF14): PPHF 2014 Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) financed in part by Prevention and Public Health Funding (see

DP14-1421PPHF14): A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (see

(DP14-1422) State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease

State and Local Public Health Actions, a new 4-year, $70 million/year program that builds on efforts initiated in 2013, intensifies work in 18 to 22 state and large city health departments to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke and reduce health disparities among adults through a combination of community and health system interventions.  States will sub-award half of their funds to support implementation activities in 4-8 communities in their states. Community strategies will build support for lifestyle change, particularly for those at high risk, to support diabetes and heart disease and stroke prevention efforts. Health system interventions and community-clinical linkage strategies will aim to improve the quality of health care delivery and preventive services to populations with the highest hypertension and prediabetes disparities. These efforts will be supported by state/jurisdiction-level leadership and coordination and technical assistance to selected communities. Activities will complement but not duplicate those funded under the State Public Health Actions (DP13-1305) initiative. Click here to view the FOA:


CHW Health Disparities Initiative

Have You Heard the News?

CMS’s Final Rule Expands Reimbursement for Preventive Services

Medicaid Will Allow Reimbursement for
Community Health Worker Preventive Services!

Community Health Worker (CHW) Health Disparities Initiative partners — have you heard about the CMS ruling announced last month? The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a new rule which allows state Medicaid agencies to reimburse for preventive services provided by professionals that may fall outside of a state’s clinical licensure system, as long as the services have been initially recommended by a physician or other licensed practitioner. The new rule for the first time offers state Medicaid agencies the option to reimburse for more community-based preventive services, including those of CHWs. The rule goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

The announcement of the CMS ruling marked a wonderful moment in time, providing a new opportunity to recognize and advance the role of CHWs! We encourage you to begin discussions with your own national, state and local networks to see how you can contribute to the conversation about reimbursement for preventive services provided by CHWs in your state. Please see below for the actual ruling and links to the relevant sections.

The new rule now states,

“(c) Preventive services means services recommended by a physician or other licensed practitioner of the healing arts acting within the scope of authorized practice under State law to—

  1. Prevent disease, disability, and other health conditions or their progression;
  2. Prolong life; and
  3. Promote physical and mental health and efficiency.”

The citation for the ruling is:

Medicaid and children’s health insurance programs: essential health benefits in alternative benefit plans, eligibility notices, fair hearing and appeal processes, premiums and cost sharing, exchanges: eligibility and enrollment; final rule. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 78 Fed Reg 42160 (July 15, 2013). The relevant section is, “a. Diagnostic, Screening, Preventive, and Rehabilitative Services (Preventive Services) (§ 440.130)” (paragraph citation: 78 FR 42226)

The rule can be found here:

To visit the CHW Health Disparities Initiative website: