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 makes 15 for 15 organizations cleared of wrongdoing. Earlier this year, Balderas’ agency cleared 10 organizations, adding to the three organizations previously exonerated.
Nearly three years after the state made its accusations, the system by which the state provides services to those struggling with mental illness and fighting addiction, among others, is in disarray. Several of the organizations the state accused of fraud have shuttered their doors, unable to operate after the state shut off the flow of Medicaid to pay for services because of the fraud allegations.
Meanwhile, three of the five Arizona companies brought in by Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to help provide services to tens of thousands of New Mexicans affected by its actions have left or are leaving the state.
And the number of lawsuits against the state and others is growing.
This is a developing story we will update. We’ve asked for comment from the governor’s office given today’s news.
Unfortunately this damage is done. It will take years for the behavioral health system to recover. And, the companies will always feel that another episode of government capriciousness may harm them again. This is yet another example of the extremely poor record of the Martinez administration and another reason to vote democratic next time and send the Republicans packing…back to Texas in Suzanna’s case.
Good article, Trip. Thank you and thank you for your continued interest in this debacle.I am one of the agencies that is shuttered so though cleared it is bitter sweet. If the intent was to get rid of agencies and services they certainly accomplished that with Hogares.
Good article Trip. Does NM have the same level of services that existed pre the Arizona agency coming in?
If not, when will these services levels be re established?
How on earth did the Gov make such a bad decision?
Please continue on this story.
The saddest chapter in NM behavioral health history now is complete…except that HSD continues to refuse to accept the findings and incredibly is asserting that the companies who have been cleared now still have to reimburse the state millions! For what? Meanwhile the Arizona companies that were given $27 million to come into NM have steadily returned home, leaving us poorer but no wiser. Only when the voters demand that Governor Martinez explain this sordid mess and make things right for the accused (and exonerated) agencies will the book be closed in reality.
This began under Governor Gary Johnson when several monopolies were allowed to develop and become rich at the expense of small providers and all patients. This has only been another chapter in the State’s irresponsibility toward this population. The end is not in sight. For services to those needing behavioral health/substance abuse services, our best days are behind us, unfortunately.