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Our View: Transparency still lost in health audit

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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 10:30 pm

The practice of sending out unpleasant news on a Friday afternoon is known in the news business as a “dump.” And that’s what happened last week when Attorney General Gary King released parts of an audit of behavioral health service providers just before the end of business Friday.

It’s on the basis of the $3 million, no-bid audit by Boston company Public Consulting Group, Inc. that Gov. Susana Martinez’s Human Services Department suspended 15 New Mexico mental health services providers earlier this year. The providers were accused of Medicaid billing fraud so widespread that the state claimed it had no choice but to stop payments (some funding has been restored). Department officials then turned the audit over to King to investigate possible criminal charges. Because of the ongoing criminal investigation, both Human Services and the Attorney General’s Office claim that the audit — paid for by taxpayers — must remain confidential. In their view, because a criminal investigation was initiated, the audit falls under an exemption to New Mexico’s public records law.

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2 comments:

  • Kenneth Davis posted at 7:11 pm on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    concerned and confused Posts: 38

    You'll be waiting a lot longer for an un redacted version because HSD knows it has no case against these people and no just cause for this action, a version that is not heavily redacted would show this in no uncertain terms. I doubt they will ever release the full version because it would most likely bring down the Martinez administration for backing it. No real evidence has been shown because there is no real evidence of anything beyond a conspiracy to close 15 private non profits and hand them to other companies.
    Point: these companies were approached and hired long before the audit.
    Point: the audit was done by a company known to allege wrongdoing where there wasn't any as in their North Carolina audit.
    Point: each of these companies would have been active in opposing the states Centennial Care plan.
    Point: the wording of the affordable care act was used "Unless there is fraud" in this country fraud has to be proven not just suspected for punitive action to be taken.
    Point: this action was taken in disregard for the auditing company stating it found no fraud or danger to the consumers.
    Those points and several others would indicate that this was a premeditated replacement of management of private non profits. I'm surprised That HSD, OptumHealth and governor Martinez are not under investigation based on these points.

     
  • Kathy I-C posted at 11:12 am on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Kathy I-C Posts: 3

    I'm glad the New Mexican is pursuing this issue. Lots of frustration about this situation that appears to be all about sending NM Medicaid dollars to Arizona, especially as no real evidence has become available to the public, who are the payers, yet.

     
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