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Home Divisions Health Improvement

Division of Health Improvement

The Department of Health’s Division of Health Improvement (DHI) is the regulatory entity providing compliance oversight for the following areas.

  • Licensed health facilities such as: non-long term care, long-term care, assisted living home care and hospice, free standing birth centers, community mental health centers and other facilities.
  • Home and community-based Medicaid waiver providers for the Developmental Disabilities Waiver, Medically Fragile Waiver and the Mi Via Waiver.
  • Conducts investigations of Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation for licensed health facilities and home and community-based Medicaid waiver programs.
  • Operates the Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program (CCHSP) which provides criminal background checks on potential caregivers.
  • Operates the Employee Abuse Registry (EAR) also known as, the Consolidated Online Employee Abuse Registry (COR) which provides background checks for all caregivers, ensuring they have not been disqualified by a substantiated case of ANE. Individuals placed on the EAR are not eligible for hire as caregivers.
  • Operates the Certified Nurse Aide Registry (NAR) and Training program.
  • Certifies all clinical laboratories operating in New Mexico meet health and safety requirements.

NEW : Long Term care Letter of Direction - DHI Memo - Letter of Direction - 12/05/2022

Special Announcement regarding Background Checks:

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety will be transitioning to a new fingerprint supported background checks provider, IDEMIA, effective May 1, 2023. Electronic fingerprinting can still be completed with Gemalto through the end of the day April 28, 2023. Effective immediately, please mail hard copy fingerprint cards to:

IndentoGo Cardscan Department: New Mexico Program
340 Seven Springs Way, Suite 250
Brentwood, TN 37027

Additional information is available at Caregivers Criminal History Screening.

Voting Rights for Long Term Care Residents

Special Announcement:

In order to prepare for this anticipated influx of applications,

"In an effort to provide support to workplaces who may be doing COVID-19 testing, CMS has prepared materials to outline the simple steps necessary to do this. Generally, a CLIA certificate of waiver is necessary for a workplace to do testing. For information regarding CLIA requirements and the application process for workplace COVID-19 testing, please see the Quick Start Guide for COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace and the Workplace COVID-19 Testing Fact Sheet.

PLEASE NOTE: CMS is temporarily exercising enforcement discretion and allowing employers to start waived SARS-CoV-2 Point of Care testing after a facility has submitted a CMS-116 application.

Background Checks for Community Based Waiver Service Providers and Support Caregivers

Effective January 1, 2022, via this notice, all new hired “caregiver” employees of licensed health facilities and home and community-based Medicaid waiver programs who are defined as a “caregiver” (see 29-17-4 NMSA and NMAC) and hired on or after January 1, 2022, shall be in compliance with 29-17-2 et seq and 7.1.12 NMAC and complete a background check at time of hire.

See memo Background Check Supplement for complete details regarding background checks for caregivers hired between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 Any caregiver hired during the public health emergency and has not had a fingerprint background check must come into compliance by March 31, 2022.

Enforcement Activities

DHI enforcement activities include:

Health facilities and community based waiver programs found out of compliance may be subject to civil monetary penalties or other sanctions as authorized by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or state law.

Organizational Structure

The Division of Health Improvement consists of 162 staff members located in 4 field offices across New Mexico with a central office in Santa Fe. Our staff have a variety of professional and educational backgrounds and experiences. Many are licensed as psychologists, nurses, physicians, life safety code engineers, architects, social workers and other related fields, who hold bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. We are organized into the following three areas.

  1. Health Facility Licensing and Certification – Consists of District Operations which conducts surveys, and Program Operations which administers the facility licenses and services such as the Nurse Aide Registry.
  2. Community Based Waiver Programs – Consists of Incident Management and Quality Management.
  3. Director’s Office – Consists of DHI Administrative Services, Human Resources and the Office of Policy, Planning & Performance Improvement.

Please see the Human Resources section of our website for a list of Job Opportunities with Division of Health Improvement and obtain our latest organizational chart.

Health Facility Guidance during Covid-19

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Has your health facility recently been surveyed by the Division of Health Improvement? If so, we would like to know how we performed.


Please visit the Regulations page for a complete listing of the rules and regulations which govern the majority of what we do.

The Department of Health’s Division of Health Improvement has issued a new regulation on Boarding Homes effective June 3, 2020. To Access the new rule please see the 7.8.4 General Requirements for Boarding Homes

The Division of Health Improvement has Issued a new Regulation for all caregivers in Long term care facilities to have additional dementia training NMAC 7.1.32

New Emergency Rule and Pending Regulations

The Department of Health's Division of Health Improvement is proposing issuing a new rule 7.7.3 NMAC - Requirements for Rural Emergency Hospitals.

The Department of Health Division of Health Improvement is issuing a new emergency rule for Crisis Triage Centers NMAC 7.30.13 amending 3 sections: Sections 7, 9 and 23 of 7.30.13 NMAC.

The Department of Health Division of Health Improvement is issuing a new emergency rule for Rural Emergency Hospitals 7.7.3 NMAC

Be sure to visit our Regulations page to view recent updates made to existing rules.

See revisions to NMAC 7.28.2 Requirements for Home Health Agencies effective November 10th, 2020

The Division of Health Improvement has Issued a new Regulation for all caregivers in Long term care facilities to have additional dementia training NMAC 7.1.32

Notice of Public Hearing

The New Mexico Department of Health will hold a public hearing on the proposed adoption of a new rule, 7.7.3 NMAC, “Requirements for Rural Emergency Hospitals”. The public hearing will be held on November 27, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. MDT via web video conference and telephone. The hearing will be conducted to receive public comment regarding the adoption of the proposed rule, which concern requirements for licensing of Rural Emergency Hospitals, pursuant to Section 24-1-5.12, NMSA 1978 (“Rural emergency hospital licensure; licensing requirements”) effective June 16, 2023.

Proposed Amendments to the Crisis Triage Centers rule NMAC 7.30.13

Quick Links

Community Programs

Community Provider Survey Report of Findings

Community Provider Survey Report of Findings

Field Tools

Please visit the Field Tools page to explore the various field tools such as Case Management, Living Care and Arrangements, and Community Inclusion.

ANE Training for Community Providers

Licensed Health Facilities

Search Licensed Health Facilities Survey Report of Findings

Search Medicare Nursing Home Compare

Nursing Home Compare provides details on nursing homes across the country. This includes nursing home inspection results, staffing levels, enforcement actions that the federal government have taken against the nursing homes and how well nursing home residents were treated in specific areas of care.

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