Legislative Leaders Call for Federal Review of Behavioral Healthcare Shake-Up
New Mexico Leaders Call for Federal Review of Behavioral Healthcare Disaster
Congressional Delegation Urged to Contact DOJ
SANTA FE- Leadership from both the New Mexico House of Representatives and Senate delivered a letter requesting that the Federal Congressional Delegation contact the Department of Justice and other relevant federal agencies regarding the behavioral healthcare crisis in New Mexico.
The request came at the urging of constituents and of three of the behavioral healthcare providers that were shut down or left hamstrung as a result of allegations of fraud. The allegations were later found to be unfounded by the New Mexico Attorney General, and all 15 providers were cleared of any fraudulent activity.
The letters from the healthcare providers (links below) give an outline of the series of events, beginning in 2013 when the Martinez administration took its first actions. The letters contain some very troubling allegations, ranging from client privacy violations and withholding of payments to intimidation and lack of due process.
House and Senate Leadership have forwarded the providers’ comments to U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Steve Pearce, with the request that they forward the letters to the appropriate federal agencies.
“These accounts, written by longtime, local behavioral healthcare providers are disturbing,” said Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. “New Mexicans – both the clients whose care have been jeopardized and the hundreds of professionals who lost their jobs– were harmed by the incidents outlined in these letters.”
“The Martinez Administration’s actions to shut down behavioral healthcare providers have had a negative impact on our economy, our safety, and our families,” said House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf. “It is clear that the Human Services Department and the Governor’s cronies have stacked the decks against hard-working New Mexicans by courting out-of-state providers, all the while wasting $28.8 million in taxpayer money. These actions did nothing but harm the local providers and the New Mexican families who need help.”
“Yesterday the Attorney General informed the Legislative Finance Committee that he has completed his examination and turned over his findings to the New Mexico Department of Human Services,” said Senate Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen. “Today we are requesting that our federal delegation reach out to the Department of Justice to determine if it would be appropriate for federal agencies to investigate. It’s been three years since the payments were withheld from 15 behavioral healthcare providers in New Mexico.”
Since the Martinez Administration’s dismantling of New Mexico’s behavioral healthcare system, New Mexican families and businesses have continued to struggle. House and Senate Leadership will be working with New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation to ensure that these types of needless actions do not continue to occur.