WCA Continues Limited Onsite Operations
The New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration (WCA), in keeping with directives issued by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to further reduce community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), will continue to operate telephonically for mediations and hearings, and for much of the agency's daily operations through Friday, May 1, 2020.
Just another reminder, employers are responsible for the cost and arrangement of a qualified interpreter for the telephonic hearings and mediations, including arrangements for telephonic participation by the interpreter. Employers and their counsel are requested to set up conference calls for all parties, and provide conference calling information to the mediators, judges and Director. All parties, counsel and interpreters are strongly encouraged to participate telephonically from their own homes and offices to minimize exposure.
Continuing updates will be posted on the WCA website as soon as available.
EDI General Interest
The New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration (WCA) has completed changes to the IAIABC EDI Edit program and tables to accept the new Pandemic and COVID-19 codes for Cause and Nature. The changes are in production as of this morning, Wednesday, April 1, 2020. If you have technical questions, please contact the following MIS Bureau staff: Gary Chavez (GaryD.Chavez@state.nm.us) and Gayle Osburn (Gayle.Osburn@state.nm.us), who will continue to monitor the smooth running of the EDI system until May 31, 2020. After May 31, send all technical questions through the WCA Helpdesk email: WCA.Helpdesk@state.nm.us. If you have administrative questions, email WCA Helpdesk at: WCA.Helpdesk@state.nm.us.
WCA Director Issues Order on Telemedicine
In a further effort to assure the continuation of medical services to injured workers during this time of "social distancing" efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, WCA Director Loretta Lopez has issued a Director's Order regarding the use of telemedicine in workers' compensation medical cases. This order becomes effective immediately and will remain in place until the restrictions surrounding the virus are lifted, or until implementation of the 2021 Health Care Providers' Fee Schedule, whichever comes first.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we all navigate our way through these challenging times.
NM WCA Continues with Limited On-site Operations
In an ongoing effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all WCA transactions will be conducted telephonically. By conducting our daily operations telephonically, we will continue to provide services to the New Mexico workers' compensation community. All Judicial and Director’s hearings and mediations will be conducted telephonically, and our ombudsman hotline remains active for callers in Albuquerque and at our field office locations statewide. Please take note of the pertinent telephone numbers below:
To call in for your scheduled HEARINGS/MEDIATIONS:
505-841-6000 OR 800-255-7965 (from outside ABQ)
To reach our OMBUDSMEN services: 505-841-6894 OR 866-967-5667 (from outside ABQ)
Our Albuquerque reception desk can be reached at 505-841-6000.
We ask for your patience and cooperation during this challenging time.
April 22 Advisory Council Meeting Cancelled
The Advisory Council meeting scheduled for April 22, 2020 at 2410 Centre SE in Albuquerque has been postponed, in keeping with Gov. Lujan Grisham's directive on social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.
WCA Mediation Practices During COVID-19 Social Distancing
With the challenges to move forward in the age of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration's (WCA) Mediation Bureau remains committed to providing quality and efficient delivery of services to injured workers and employers/insurers, and seeks your continued cooperation in meeting that goal. To that end, and in keeping with the recommendations for social distancing, effective immediately and until further notice, all mediation conferences will be held telephonically. Employers and their counsel are requested to set up conference calls for all parties, and provide call-in information to opposing counsel/pro se litigant and to the Mediation Bureau at least two (2) business days in advance of the conference. Conference call information should be emailed to both mediation secretaries: Patricia.Baca2@state.nm.us and Elizabeth.Zon@state.nm.us. Employers remain responsible, if the Complaint indicated the necessity, for providing an interpreter for the conferences, including arrangements for telephonic participation by the interpreter.
It is essential that parties remember that if they agree to a reset of the mediation conference, they are required to use the "My Mediations" portal on the WCA Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system found at https://workerscomp.nm.gov/WCA-eServices. The system will not allow reset requests within three (3) days of the scheduled conference or the scheduling of a reset that would occur more than the 75 days from the date of the filing of the Complaint. Therefore, it is critical that the parties identify any conflicts timely and seek any resets on the ECF system within the regulatory parameters. Failure to do so may require a determination of good cause to reset.
Further, the WCA encourages all parties, prior to the mediation conference, to proactively reach out to opposing counsel and begin the process of narrowing issues and seeking agreement. To that end, if the parties are able to reach a stipulated agreement, they can use this interim Stipulated Recommended Resolution Form (this is an interim form and may be modified or changed in the future) to memorialize their agreement, and return it to the Mediation Bureau with the request to vacate the scheduled conference.
We appreciate your advocacy for you clients and your cooperation with the WCA during these extraordinary circumstances. Continuing updates will be posted on the WCA website: https://workerscomp.nm.gov/
WCA Measures to Minimize Public Health Risks From Coronavirus (COVID-19) for its Albuquerque Location and Field Offices
The New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration (WCA) announces measures to minimize public health risks from coronavirus (COVID-19) for its Albuquerque office and other locations.
Effective Friday, March 13, 2020, the WCA is cancelling Lump Sum Tuesdays and trials. All Director's Hearings, hearings scheduled before workers' compensation judges, and mediations will be converted from in-person to telephonic. These changes will take effect immediately and will be in place until further notice, but until at least April 1, 2020.
Employers are responsible for the cost and arrangement of a qualified interpreter for the telephonic hearings and mediations, including arrangements for telephonic participation by the interpreter. Employers and their counsel are requested to set up conference calls for all parties, and provide conference calling information to the mediators, judges and Director. All parties, counsel and interpreters are strongly encouraged to participate telephonically from their own homes and offices to minimize exposure.
Continuing updates will be posted on this website as soon as available. The WCA hopes to minimize any disruption caused by these changes and thanks you for your cooperation.
One of the best ways to ensure all communities in New Mexico are treated fairly in the distribution of public goods and services is to ensure they are equally represented. This starts with ensuring all New Mexicans are counted on April 1, 2020 at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time. Achieving a complete and accurate count of all New Mexicans requires the participation and collaboration of all New Mexicans, including partners at the state, tribal, and local level to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. Visit icountnm.gov for more information on the #2020Census and be counted!
All New Mexicans have a small role to play to make sure your community is counted and receives the resources we deserve. The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and happens once every 10 years. It serves as a count of everyone living in the United States. The 2020 census will take place from March 12th through July 2020. In 2020, participation in the census will be more convenient than ever. For most of New Mexico’s residents, the census can be completed online, over the phone, or on paper — all in the privacy of your own home.
Why is it important?
From Gallup to Carlsbad, Las Cruces to Raton, and everywhere in between, the census impacts all communities across New Mexico. The census determines how more than $800 billion in federal funds are distributed to communities across the U.S. including over $7.8 billion right here in New Mexico. For more information, visit:
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Public Information Office
For questions on news, announcements, the Advisory Council or IPRA requests, contact Public Information Officer, Diana Sandoval-Tapia at (505) 841-6052 or email Diana Sandoval-Tapia.