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Public Health New Mexico

Staffer Reflects After Fraud Allegations Evaporate

the tutoress via CC
Creative Commons

New Mexico’s attorney general announced on Tuesday that his office cleared the final two behavioral health providers accused of fraud. Those allegations against more than a dozen providers shuttered services that the state is still scrambling to restore.   

The state froze Medicaid payments to 15 New Mexico behavioral health providers in 2013. TeamBuilders Counseling Services held on for a few more months but, like most, was eventually forced to close. 

Former employee Christina Cole said now that TeamBuilders has been cleared, her emotions are mixed. There’s happiness, she said, "But there’s also sort of some kind of righteous anger and sadness over seeing that the mental health population is still being affected by this—right now—and it's not gotten better, and the services are not what they could have been.

Five companies from Arizona were brought in to pick up the slack, but three haven’t been able to stick it out

The attorney general did find some evidence of overbilling but nothing near the magnitude of the allegations. Gov. Susana Martinez responded by suggesting CEOs of behavioral health providers squandered Medicaid dollars.

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