June 10, 2015

AG wants bids from forensic audit firms for behavioral health investigation

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Courtesy photo

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced on Wednesday that his office is looking for private investigation firms to help with the investigation of 12 behavioral health providers in New Mexico.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. Courtesy photo.

According to a statement from the Attorney General’s office, a request for proposals (RFP) was issued earlier this month for forensic audit firms. Balderas said the RFP is an effort to expedite his investigation into providers accused of fraud by the Human Services Department.

“Expanding the pool of expertise to work with our staff will allow our investigation to proceed even more quickly and efficiently, which has always been my priority,” he said.

The investigation of 15 behavioral health providers goes back to an HSD audit that found possible cases of client overbilling and misuse of Medicaid funds. Soon after the audit, the state froze payments to the providers accused of fraud, and companies from out of the state were brought in to take over.

Since 2013, members of the media and advocates for transparency in government criticized HSD for not releasing its findings. Earlier this year, newly elected Balderas released the findings and asked for money to speed up the investigation.

Balderas had promised to bring the investigation to a close as early as possible.

Earlier this month, Balderas charged a now-defunct behavioral health firm with fraud charges; a former therapist with a Raton medical provider was also charged with fraud earlier this year.

Recently Balderas asked for and received an additional $1.8 million to speed up the investigation by his office.

The deadline for the RFPs is June 30.

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