NM’s $36 million Medicaid controversy rolls on

By Rob Nikolewski on October 24, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – The long-running drama over allegations of misspent Medicaid dollars has been extended.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King 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 [...]

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Squier apologizes for email, defends probe into Medicaid fraud allegations

By Rob Nikolewski on September 27, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – New Mexico Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier had a busy day Friday.
First, she issued a public apology for an email she wrote about child hunger in the state. Then, she told New Mexico Watchdog she’s confident the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office will find evidence [...]

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Criminal allegations in NM behavioral health system no surprise to one advocate

By Rob Nikolewski on August 23, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – As the controversy continues over allegations of $36 million in potential misuse of funds, a former Green Party candidate for statewide and national office said she has a sense of déjà vu.
“I haven’t read the audit” of the providers in question, “but I do have concerns [...]

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The NM behavioral health controversy rolls on

By Rob Nikolewski on August 5, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — In one corner are allegations that some $36 million has been misspent by behavioral health providers in New Mexico.
In the other corner are the providers, who say it’s unfair their Medicaid funding was suspended while the state’s Attorney General’s office — and possibly other law enforcement [...]

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AG’s office says Obamacare vests power in HSD in behavioral health controversy

By Rob Nikolewski on July 25, 2013

Roundhouse Democrats are spitting mad, demanding that funding be restored to 15 behavioral health providers across the state.
But in a profound political irony, the deputy chief of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office said Thursday that changes in federal statute due to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act have vested sweeping powers into the hands of the [...]

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Editorial: The other side isn’t so bad

By Rob Nikolewski on January 13, 2013

For all the talk of political polarization, I think a couple recent stories show that New Mexico Republicans aren’t nearly as extreme as liberals fear and Democrats aren’t as left-wing as conservatives suspect.
We’ll start with the decision by Gov. Susana Martinez to accept the federal government’s offer for states to expand Medicaid.
At least 10 other [...]

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Susana OKs Medicaid expansion

By Rob Nikolewski on January 9, 2013

Saying “this decision comes down to what is best for New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez decided Wednesday (Jan. 9) to accept the federal government’s offer to expand Medicaid across the state in a move that’s estimated to affect 170,000 people in New Mexico.
“We have an obligation to provide an adequate level of basic health care [...]

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Should NM accept the feds’ offer to expand Medicaid?

By Rob Nikolewski on December 3, 2012

It sounds almost too good to be true: Expand Medicaid in New Mexico by enrolling tens of thousands of people and instead of costing the state money it ends up saving millions of dollars.
That’s what University of New Mexico economist Dr. Lee Reynis says but she has her skeptics.
Last week, Dr. Reynis presented her findings [...]

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Should New Mexico expand Medicaid? UNM economist says yes but UNM doctor says no

By Rob Nikolewski on August 31, 2012

An economist at the University of New Mexico says if the state decides to extend Medicaid benefits, as many as 10,000 new jobs could be generated but a doctor at UNM says expanding Medicaid will be “financially devastating for the state.”
Appearing at the Economic Forum of Albuquerque on Aug. 23, Lee Reynis of the university’s Bureau of Business and [...]

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NM Docs More Open to Medicaid Than National Average

By Jim Scarantino on August 8, 2012

Nearly a third of doctors nationwide refuse to accept new Medicaid patients.  But New Mexico physicians are less likely to turn down a new patient because they rely on Medicaid to cover their bills.
According a survey of 4,326 office-based physicians conducted for the magazine Health Affairs, 13.7% of New Mexico doctors refuse to accept new [...]

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