15 NM health care providers fail audit

Fifteen New Mexico providers of mental health and substance abuse services failed to meet standards, overbilled the federal and state government by tens of millions of dollars, and may have taken part in fraudulent activities, according to a new state audit released Monday. 
New Mexico Human Services Department officials said the audit found that "errors and overpayments were so widespread that the business and billing practices of every provider (in the audit) warrants careful scrutiny." It also found "mismanagement, fraud, waste and abuse" in the treatment of potential suicide victims, including disregard for follow-up care and basic policies. 
Department Secretary Sidonie Squier said that, as a result of the audit, Medicaid payments would stop immediately to all 15 providers and out-of-state managers would be brought to New Mexico to manage behavioral health care services for patients.



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