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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) is pleased to offer resources to help you better manage your health care. We welcome your input. We also respect your rights as a member and want you to be aware of those rights. If you were not able to make decisions about your own health care, who would you want to handle this for you? Take some time to check out resources to help with these and other topics.
The Member Advisory Board (MAB) plays a key role in helping BCBSNM improve the Blue Cross Community Centennial health plan. We want to know your experience with services you receive for behavioral health, physical health, long-term care and more. This board can include Blue Cross Community Centennial members and their family. It can also include health care providers.
MAB meetings occur each quarter (4 times a year) in Albuquerque. There are also 2 statewide meetings each year. Please see the schedule for upcoming MAB meetings. There may be an option to call in to the meeting if you cannot attend in person.
To learn more about MAB or to make a reservation, please contact Christine Rocha. Call 1-505-816-4316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Native American Advisory Board
The Native American Advisory Board (NAAB) is a team like the MAB. But NAAB is a team that can advise BCBSNM on issues related to Native Americans. This can include issues with the health plan or services you receive. NAAB may also discuss provider-related topics such as claims processing and reimbursement issues.
NAAB meetings are held each quarter (4 times a year). This board may include appointed tribal representatives, Native American plan members and providers. Please see the schedule for upcoming NAAB meetings. There may be an option to call in to the meeting if you cannot attend in person.
To learn more about NAAB or to make a reservation, please contact Bonnie Vallo. Call 1-505-816-2210 or email email@example.com.
See a complete list of Member Rights and Responsibilities.
Advance health care directives are legal instructions. They include written instructions for health care and a power of attorney for health care.
These directives help if you become injured or too ill to make health care decisions on your own. Even though you may not be injured or ill now, you can decide how you want to handle these situations in the future.
Instructions for Health Care
These legal instructions state what to do if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. They say whether or not you want to be put on a life support system. They also say what kind of treatment you do and do not want. Instructions for health care are sometimes called a "Living Will."
Power of Attorney (POA) for Health Care
This power gives a person you choose the right to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to express your own wishes. This person should be someone you trust.
Learn more about Advance Directives in your Member Handbook. Download a POA/Advance Health Care Directives form with instructions.
If you have questions, speak with your care coordinator or call BCBSNM at 1-866-689-1523. If you are speech or hearing impaired, call TTY 711. You can also call the State of New Mexico Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1-800-432-2080.
At BCSBNM, we take great pride in helping you get the care you need. If you receive an adverse benefit determination or have a complaint (a “grievance”) about how we handle any services provided to you, you can file an appeal or a grievance. The difference between an appeal and a grievance is explained below.
Adverse Benefit Determination
An adverse benefit determination is the denial, reduction, limited authorization, suspension, or termination of a newly requested benefit or benefit currently being provided to a member. These include determinations based on the type or level of service, medical necessity criteria or requirements, appropriateness of setting, or effectiveness of a service.
An appeal is a request for review of a benefit decision made by BCBSNM about a service. If you disagree with a benefit decision by BCBSNM, you may file an appeal. Disagreeing with a benefit decision by BCBSNM means you disagree with BCBSNM’s decision to terminate, modify, suspend, reduce, delay, or deny a benefit. You have up to 60 calendar days from the date of this letter to file an appeal. If you do not file an appeal within 60 calendar days from the date of this letter, you may lose your right to appeal. Call or write BCBSNM Member Services at 1-866-689-1523 (TTY: 711) to start your appeal.
A grievance is not the same as an appeal. A grievance is how you tell us that you are unhappy with us or our operation other than a benefit decision that we made. You can file a grievance even if you do not request an appeal. However, a grievance alone will not work to dispute a benefit decision. You must file an appeal to dispute a benefit decision. You can file both a grievance and an appeal at the same time. Call or write BCBSNM Member Services at 1-866-689-1523 (TTY: 711) to start your grievance. There is no time limit to start a grievance.
How to File an Appeal or Grievance
You may make a complaint or file an appeal over the phone or in writing.
You must send us your written appeal within 13 calendar days after calling us or your appeal will be withdrawn. Please let us know if you need help filing your appeal in writing.
You or your appointed representative may use the Member Appeal Request Form and mail it to us at the address above.
You can also have your provider submit an appeal for you. Your provider can use the Provider Appeal Request Form. Please follow the instructions. Your provider will need to include certain information to support the request. Also, you must sign the form. Once completed, send it to the address shown on the form.
Time Limits for Filing
There are time limits for filing an appeal.
We will confirm that we received your request. BCBSNM has 30 calendar days from the receipt of your initial request to respond to your concern or resolve the appeal. You can ask BCBSNM for more time or BCBSNM can ask the Human Services Department for more time if needed to explain or research the issue.
If you think the normal 30 calendar day appeal time will put your health at risk, you can ask us to “expedite” your appeal (review it faster). Your Centennial Care plan automatically provides an expedited review for all requests related to a continued hospital stay or other health care services for a member who has received emergency services and is still in the hospital. You or your provider can file an expedited appeal by calling Member Services. We will tell you within 1 working day if we agree to expedite your appeal. If we agree, we will tell you and/or your provider the outcome over the phone within 72 hours after we receive your appeal. We will send a follow-up letter within 2 calendar days telling you and your provider the outcome.
You or your authorized representative may ask for up to a 14-day extension to submit additional information to BCBSNM that supports your request for an expedited appeal.
If we need more time to answer your expedited appeal to collect and review additional information, we can extend the 72-hour time frame up to 14 calendar days. We will write you a letter to explain why we extended the 72-hour time frame.
If an expedited appeal request is denied, it goes through the normal appeal process. It will be resolved within 30 calendar days. BCBSNM will call you within 1 working day to tell you the appeal is not going to be expedited. We will also follow up in writing within 2 calendar days. If we deny your expedited request, you can request a standard or expedited Fair Hearing.
You have the right to ask for a hearing with the State Fair Hearings Bureau if after exhausting BCBSNM’s internal appeal process, you do not agree with the final decision. You or your representative must ask for a Fair Hearing from the State’s Fair Hearings Bureau within 90 calendar days of BCBSNM’s final appeal decision.
If you have any questions about Fair Hearings, call the Fair Hearings Bureau. You can call them at 1-800-432-6217, then press option 6, or at 505-476-6215.
This is just a brief description of appeals and grievances. For more details, see the Member Handbook.
Health care fraud, waste and abuse have a negative effect on the health care industry and our nation. Health care fraud costs billions of dollars each year. It impacts all of us in the long run.
Health care fraud leads to:
Examples of health care fraud include billing for:
We all need to work together to reduce health care fraud. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) works to fight fraud with help from our:
BCBSNM created the Special Investigations Department (SID) to fight fraud. The SID staff includes people from diverse backgrounds such as:
SID also has a Data Intelligence Unit to partner with SID investigators to find and stop fraud, waste and abuse. When appropriate, SID refers fraud cases for criminal prosecution.
How do I report fraud?
If you suspect fraud, there are ways to report it.
BCBSNM Medical Policies are based on scientific and medical research. They are often used as a guide to decide what is covered by a health plan. Medical Policies can relate to topics such as:
BCBSNM puts these policies online. Medical Policies are not medical advice or care. They do not promise any results. BCBSNM does not give medical advice. BCBSNM does not provide health care. Independent health care providers are responsible for:
Members may talk about Medical Policies with their health care providers. Members should always talk to their health care providers about any health questions or concerns. View Medical Policies.