San Juan County struggles with health care costs

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — San Juan County health care providers warn that services would be reduced if county officials don't act to avoid deep cuts in funding for uninsured patients' medical bills.

Providers told The Daily Times ( ) that consequences would include filled emergency rooms, crowded jails and even death for some patients.

San Juan County is considering cuts to providers' care for uninsured people because of the state's recent creation of a safety net care pool. The county must pay $3 million to the pool.

County Executive Officer Kim Carpenter says the only way to avoid deep cuts to care providers compensated under the county's indigent health care fund would be pursue a belt-tightening plan.

Documents say that plan includes raising taxes, narrowing eligibility for indigent coverage and reducing provider reimbursement rates.

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