Human Services Department announces the departure of NM Medicaid Director Nicole Comeaux

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) today announced that New Mexico Medicaid Program Director Nicole Comeaux J.D. MPH, will depart HSD after serving as the Director of the Medical Assistance Division since January 2019.

Comeaux successfully led HSD’s Medical Assistance Division, which oversees the state’s Medicaid program, under the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Comeaux’s leadership, HSD has invested over $800 million in increased provider rates, extended postpartum coverage to 12 months, worked to eliminate the developmentally disabled waitlist for services, removed asset tests that create barriers for older adults, implemented home visiting programs for pregnant people, processed 6,534 Medicaid Provider enrollment applications, and added reimbursement of Adult Accredited Residential Treatment Center services.

Comeaux brought to the department a wealth of federal, state, and rural health experience that were instrumental in leading the Medical Assistance Division and the COVID-19 response efforts under the federal public health emergency.

“I will miss Nicole greatly. She has provided outstanding leadership for our state’s Medicaid program over the past four years. During her time in New Mexico, we have seen a more than $2 billion annual increase in federal health care revenue for healthcare for the state’s 980,949 Medicaid customers,” said David R. Scrase M.D., cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “More importantly, though, she has led the expansion of benefits in many areas, including for new mothers and children, that have measurably improved health.  While we all completely support her taking more time with her family, we also look forward to the work that we are sure she will perform nationally to continue to improve Medicaid programs.”

“It has been my honor to serve alongside the smart, compassionate, dedicated leadership team at the Human Services Department, and it has been my privilege to do so with committed partners across the state, on behalf of so many New Mexicans,” said Nicole Comeaux J.D. MPH, NM Medicaid Director.

As part of the Lujan Grisham administration, Comeaux played an integral role in leading the transformation of the state’s Medicaid program that will positively impact New Mexico families. Her accomplishments include the evolution of the Medicaid program that will be referred to as Turquoise Care starting on Jan. 2024.