State of New Mexico settles with behavioral health providers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state agency has entered settlement agreements with five behavioral health care providers after the groups had Medicaid funding frozen amid fraud and overbilling allegations.

The state Human Services Department has agreed Wednesday to pay $10 million to Santa Maria El Mirador, Border Area Mental Health Services, Southwest Counseling Center Inc., Southern New Mexico Human Development Inc., and Families and Youth Inc.

Officials say former state Gov. Susana Martinez publicly accused 15 health agencies of overbilling Medicaid by up to $36 million resulting in frozen funds in 2013.

Officials say the Attorney General's office has cleared each of the providers of any wrongdoing, but many were driven out of the industry.

Officials say this settlement included the last five behavioral health care providers.

Officials say 10 have settled with the state since Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took office in January.

Human Services Secretary David Scrase told the Albuquerque Journal the department has planned to request a $10 million supplemental appropriation during the Legislative session to help cover the settlement costs.