Sen. Howie Morales sent an update and information on Senate Bill 198, which passed unanimously in the Senate Public Affairs Committee. It now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Attached is background information on the what it does in assisting addressing Heart Attack care in the State. He also updated other bills of interest to Grant County (which can be found below the HB 198 background information).

Background Information on SB 198 –
Heart Attack Hospital Designation

•    Cardiovascular disease and stroke are the number 1 causes of death in New Mexico.  Combined, these account for over 25% of all deaths in the state. **

•    Senate Bill 198 allows the Department of Health to recognize designated hospitals based on national accreditation guidelines.  The designations include Heart attack Receiving and Referring Centers.

•    By defining and recognizing hospitals on the state level, it gives New Mexico hospitals more opportunities to be recognized as facilities that can give life-saving diagnoses and treatment for heart attacks.

•    This legislation is very similar to the legislation HB 33 (Morales/James) that was passed last year around hospital designations for stroke.  In continuing to try and help support the state of New Mexico continue in their efforts to provide the best care possible for cardiovascular disease and stroke, this legislation addresses hospital designations specific to heart attacks.  

•    Allowing the Department of Health to recognize these hospitals is extremely important because it defines guidelines for the designations on the state level.

•    Formalizing of this recognition process on the state level reinforces with EMS, Doctors and hospitals of the state how important these issues are to the citizens of the state.

•    Eventually, there should be an increase in access to hospitals for heart attack care in the state and will give the patient additional options if more hospitals attain these designations which this legislation encourages them to do.

•    This legislation is a first step that the state can take to show its support for a Heart Attack statewide system of care in New Mexico.

•    There is no fiscal impact from this legislation, but it simply allows the Department of Health to gather information around these designations and publish this information on their website.  
•    This legislation gives New Mexico hospitals more opportunities to be recognized as facilities that can give life-saving diagnoses and treatment and creates more consistency in the recognition of these hospitals.

**    Heart Disease & Stroke in New Mexico, Comprehensive Report, June 2009 – New Mexico Department of Health.

Update on other bills:
Tour of the Gila Bill Passed Public Affairs Committee and now headed to Senate Finance.
Restorative Justice Bill Passed Unanimously and headed for Senate Finance with amendments.
Protective Vests for Police K-9s passed Unanimously in Senate Judiciary and headed to Senate Finance.

Review all bills at http://www.nmlegis.gov/

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