New Mexico In Depth
The Medicaid Freeze
In June, Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration decided to freeze Medicaid funding to 15 health organizations after an audit found problems including overbilling and potential fraud and asked the attorney general to investigate. New Mexico In Depth has been covering the fallout. Here’s a timeline of events constructed with our media partner Fronteras Desk:
As news of the exoneration of all 15 health organizations accused of Medicaid fraud sinks in, I’m struggling to understand it all. With so many questions, I e-mailed the spokesperson for the one official who might have some answers — Gov. Susana Martinez.
Attorney General Hector Balderas’s office announced today it has cleared TeamBuilders and Pathways, the final two behavioral health organizations the state of New Mexico accused of ‘credible allegations of fraud’ in 2013. This is a developing story.
The New Mexico Attorney General exonerated 10 health providers of fraud charges Monday, a significant reversal for Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, which accused 15 organizations of wrongdoing more than two years ago and forced some out of business after stopping the flow of government dollars to them.
UPDATED: The New Mexico Attorney General exonerated 10 health providers of fraud charges Monday, a significant reversal for Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, which accused 15 organizations of wrongdoing more than two years ago and forced many out of business.
“While we did find some regulatory violations, there did not appear to be a pattern of fraud for any of the ten completed investigations,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a two-page letter released this morning.
Balderas’ announcement means 13 of the 15 organizations accused of fraud have been cleared of wrongdoing.
The state’s decision to shut off government dollars to the organizations because of the fraud accusations disrupted care to tens of thousands of vulnerable New Mexicans struggling with mental illness or drug addiction. It also caused staff layoffs and at least one pharmacy’s temporary shutdown.
The audit, released Thursday by new Attorney General Hector Balderas, does nothing to provide definitive proof of Medicaid fraud. But it does offer some striking numbers and raises more questions for the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez.
Weeks after taking office, new Attorney General Hector Balderas released on Thursday the remainder of the 2013 audit of 15 New Mexico behavioral health agencies, albeit with some redactions. Read it here.
Officials in the city of Roswell and surrounding Chaves County are scrambling to prepare for the possibility that on April 1 there will be fewer available services for the mentally ill and other vulnerable populations.