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Provider to close after funding freeze

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State asked to help avoid interruption of behavioral health care

SANTA FE – Santa Fe-based TeamBuilders Counseling Services, the state’s biggest provider of behavioral health services to children and families, notified its staff Friday that it will stop providing services in 30 days because of lack of funding.

The nonprofit said it has asked for “immediate assistance” from the state Human Services Department to transition its staff and clients to new management so services will not be interrupted.

TeamBuilders is one of 15 behavioral health care providers whose Medicaid funding was halted after an audit that HSD said showed overbilling, mismanagement and possible fraud among the providers. TeamBuilders requested a resumption of its funding, but HSD denied it.

The state agency has contracted with five Arizona companies to provide training and technical assistance to the affected nonprofits – and, in some cases, take over their management.

TeamBuilders founders Shannon and Lorraine Freedle said in a statement that they will work “cooperatively and expeditiously” with any new managers on a transition. The nonprofit provides services in 23 counties.

In Las Cruces, one of the Arizona providers, La Frontera, will take over Southwest Counseling Center as of July 28, according to HSD spokesman Matt Kennicott.

The state is providing funding to keep Southwest’s doors open in the interim. Kennicott said Southwest’s clinical staff will have the option to continue in their jobs under La Frontera.

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