I have recently been elected to the Board of Directors of the Los Alamos Retirement Community (LARC), which comprises the Sombrillo and Aspen Ridge facilities in Los Alamos.
Our management company informed us at our September meeting that annual liability insurance costs rose 77 percent in July, and the corresponding deductibles rose 900 percent, and that these increases are unsustainable.
These increases seem to be attributable to the high degree of litigation occurring in New Mexico. While steps are being undertaken to reduce the causes of litigation, the steps are not likely to significantly reduce the amount of litigation.
We also have been informed that tort reform is unlikely in New Mexico in the near future, but that adding Skilled Nursing Facilities to the Patient Compensation Fund, which currently only includes doctors and hospitals, would help alleviate the situation, in that the Patient Compensation Fund does cap settlement amounts at $600,000, allowing our doctors and hospitals to stay in business in the midst of significant litigation.
The consequences of doing nothing will make it difficult to operate LARC and other Skilled Nursing Facilities not only in Los Alamos, but statewide.
These high liability costs have recently shut down two other facilities in our state.
If you are concerned about this and want to ensure that our community retains a skilled nursing facility, please contact your state representative, Christine Chandler at email@example.com. She’ll be hearing from lobbyists and other politically connected people regarding this issue, but it means much more to her to be contacted by concerned members of our community.