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Delegation asks feds for hearing on behaviorial health disruptions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are asking the federal
Department of Health and Human Services to hold a hearing on complaints
about disruption in the delivery of behavioral health services.

The letter went out today from New Mexico’s two U.S. Senators and two of
the three U.S. House members.

They asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to send
department officials to New Mexico within the next two weeks to hold a
forum to hear concerns from consumers, providers and behavioral health

The state Human Services Department in late June cut off Medicaid
funding to 15 nonprofits that deliver most of the services to the
mentally ill and addicted. The state agency said an audit showed
overbilling, mismanagement and possible fraud, and turned the findings
over to the attorney general to investigate.

Providers from Arizona have been brought in by the HSD and are in the
process of taking over at least some of the New Mexico nonprofits. The
congressional delegation said they’ve received complaints of disrupted
services, anxiety and confusion on the part of clients, and the
departure of some clinical staff.

Signing the letter were Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and Reps.
Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan, all Democrats.


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