NM’s $36 million Medicaid controversy rolls on
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By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – The long-running drama over allegations of misspent Medicaid dollars has been extended.
on Thursday said his department’s investigation into charges of up to $36 million in potential fraud against 15 behavioral health-care providers will run for at least two more months.“We hope to issue a report by the end of the year,” King told members of the to clear up a three-month old controversy. “I hoped we would have more to report to you today. We have some cases where we’ve made significant progress, but we’re not ready to report on it today.”
In June, the under the administration of suspended the operations of the providers because of what HSD says are “credible allegations of fraud.” This came after an audit from a .
But the providers have complained bitterly they haven’t been able to see the allegations against them and sat by while replaced with providers from Arizona.
“The 15 health-care providers have essentially been given a death sentence,” state said. “It’s just wrong on so many levels.”
King and each testified that their respective offices are immersed in separate investigations in the case but could not give specifics regarding conclusions.
“A box of documents is not a box of evidence,” King said. “We’re in the box of documents stage of our investigation.”
Due to the volume of documents, King said, his office probably won’t come out with a single report with a determination of all 15 providers at once. There will be resolution when the process is complete.
“When we’re done, there will be no speculation about credible allegations of fraud,” King said.
Balderas said his office is conducting a review of the Public Consulting Group audit and the procedures HSD followed when it suspended payments of the health-care providers.
While not saying when his review would be released, Balderas said after the hearing, “I think you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions about the likelihood of whether someone is appropriate for criminal investigation or not.”
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Posted under Capitol Report.
Tags: Bill O'Neill, Gary King, Hector Balderas, Human Services Department, Legislative Finance Committee, Medicaid, New Mexico Attorney General, New Mexico State Auditor, Public Consulting Group Inc, Susana Martinez