New Mexico officials considered contracts with Arizona providers before state firms had been notified of fraud allegations and visited at least one Arizona provider before an audit even began.
KUNM-FM reports that’s what state lawmakers were told this week during a Behavioral Health Legislative subcommittee hearing in Las Cruces.
A representative for Public Consulting Group, a Boston company that conducted an audit, told lawmakers that he traveled with members of Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to tour one of the Arizona firms later paid to take over New Mexico nonprofits.
The New Mexico Human Services Department in June froze payments to 15 nonprofits that provide mental health and substance abuse services after an audit found what the agency said was a high rate of billing problems and possible mismanagement.