Legislative report blasts state agency over mental health shake-up

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Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:00 pm

A Legislative Finance Committee report unveiled Wednesday contained scathing criticism of the state Human Services Department over this year’s shake-up of New Mexico’s mental health system.

In addition to knocking the department’s handling of a situation in which Medicaid funding was suspended for the state’s major behavioral health providers in the wake of an ongoing fraud investigation, the report took shots at OptumHealth, the company that oversees the managed-care program for behavioral health.

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  • William Hudson posted at 12:05 pm on Thu, Dec 12, 2013.

    whudson43 Posts: 5

    The ONLY legitimate reason for suspending the payment of Medicaid funds to any health provider is evidence of fraud. There was none. Even the audit report from PCG (which the Human Services Dept. attempted to hide from State Auditor, Hector Balderas) stated that there was no evidence of fraud. This appears to be further evidence that Susana Martinez is a failure as Governor. She appoints unqualified political hacks to important Cabinet positions, she awards no-bid contracts to one out-of-state corporation after another while ignoring (or destroying) in-state corporations, she forces through tax cuts/benefits for big out-of-state corporations while ignoring in-state businesses, she mindlessly wastes the legislative session by continuing to push the elimination of drivers licenses to immigrants (which other states are increasingly providing), she continually refuses to provide the Press and constituents with even basic information requested despite declaring she would have a "transparent" administration, and it would appear (according to the National Journal) she has relegated State decision making to an overpaid puppet master named Jay McCleskey. Oh, and there is the investigation into the Race Track deal. It is time to dump Susana Martinez

  • andres paglayan posted at 11:36 am on Thu, Dec 12, 2013.

    andres p Posts: 16

    With the dismantling of the behavioral system by HSD it is logical to expect a rise in violent crimes. I wonder if some journalist is up to the task of comparing the shooting incidents before and after August. As other system failures start to kick in, it would be appropriate to look for the upcoming increase in the juvenile system incarceration rate.

  • Kenneth Davis posted at 8:07 am on Thu, Dec 12, 2013.

    concerned and confused Posts: 59

    The quantity of consumers served began dropping when OptumHealth began denying services after the services were already provided. A panel began deeming that services were no longer of clinical necessity without any observation of the consumers in question and denying appeals (in many cases posthumously) for increased services in specific cases. In at least one of the now defunct agencies billing did not increase but instead decreased with demands for huge retroactive repayment of moneys rendered for services already provided a regular occurrence The Arizona provider who has taken over that agency now serves 10% of it's previous case load and refuses services to any uninsured behavioral health consumer. The executive salaries at that agency have more than sextupled while the level and quantity of services provided has drastically decreased.
    With the shutdown there are at a conservative estimate more than 15,000 behavioral health consumers who are not receiving the treatment they need which translates to more mentally ill homeless and more possibilities of random violence against consumers. In some disorders such as antisocial personality disorder it also increases the risk of violence against others.
    Then of course there are the hundreds of behavioral health workers that were or are now being displaced due to the shutdown. Many Arizona providers are now initiating large layoffs of workers including one which stated "I offered to hire anyone who applied" The consumers do not trust these agencies or the process that put them in place instead of the people that had earned their trust.


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