Legislators' Request Brings Action on Behavioral Healthcare

Legislators' Request Brings Action on Behavioral Healthcare

U.S. Senators and Representatives Call on DOJ and Push Federal Legislation

Last week, NM House Democratic Floor Leader Brian Egolf, along with Senate President Pro Tempore and Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez forwarded letters from 3 behavioral healthcare providers that were falsely accused of fraud to the New Mexico Federal Delegation.  Along with the accounts from the providers that outlined the troubling circumstances that led to the freezing of funds, disruption of care, and the losses of hundreds of jobs; the legislative leaders requested that the the letters be forwarded to the United States Department of Justice for review.  (Click here for the full story and letters from healthcare providers)

The request was founded on the fact that the NM Human Services Department, which originally brought the claims, is now left with sorting everything out through administrative hearings.  This is particularly troublesome since the NM Attorney General's Office investigated all 15 healthcare providers and found no patterns of fraudulent activity.  The Attorney General's investigation also revealed a $31 million dollar discrepancy in the audit that HSD used as justification for the healthcare freeze.  Therefore, NM legislative leaders called for federal review, at the urging of patients whose healthcare was disrupted and the providers, most of which were forced out of business without due process.  

The Democratic Federal Delegation offered the following response and action as a result of the request:

"We are making the U.S. Department of Justice​ aware of these very troubling allegations from New Mexico providers who were impacted when the State upended our behavioral health system. 
 
"The New Mexico Attorney General concluded his investigation and cleared every single provider of accusations of fraud. Sadly, that cannot change the fact that damage has been done to New Mexico’s behavioral health system. The State’s actions prevented thousands of New Mexicans from getting the care they needed, wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, and cost hundreds of New Mexicans their jobs.  It’s understandable that New Mexicans want a thorough review of what happened, and for someone to be held accountable for this severe disruption of services and to provide a resolution.  This is why we are calling this issue to the attention of DOJ, and why we are also building support for our legislation to do everything in our power to ensure this kind of manufactured crisis never happens again.​" --U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham
 

See background on the bill mentioned here: http://www.heinrich.senate.gov/press-releases/members-of-nm-delegation-introduce-bill-to-prevent-suspension-of-medicaid-services-without-thorough-investigation