Judge won’t lift freeze on mental health payments

July 25, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico can continue to freeze payments to behavioral health services providers that are under investigation for possible overbillings, mismanagement and fraud, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo denied a request from eight nonprofit providers for a restraining order to stop the state Human Services Department from withholding Medicaid payments for mental health and substance abuse services to needy New Mexicans.

The providers wanted payments to resume while the state gives them a hearing to address the allegations of billing problems.

The department suspended payments last month to more than a dozen nonprofit organizations after an audit flagged potential problems. The agency said federal regulations required it to halt the payments and turn over the allegations to the attorney general’s office to investigate.

The department has restored full or partial funding to three of the behavioral health providers after they asked for “good Login to read more

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