Santa Fe judge rules that audit of New Mexico mental health providers can remain confidential

From The Republic: SANTA FE, New Mexico — A judge has ruled that government agencies don't have to disclose an audit of more than a dozen mental health providers under investigation for possible overbillings and fraud, because the audit contains law enforcement materials that are confidential.

State District Judge Sarah Singleton in Santa Fe agreed with Attorney General Gary King's office in a lawsuit by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government seeking to force disclosure of the audit, which the state used to freeze Medicaid payments to the behavioral health providers.

Only a small part of the more-than-300-page audit has been publicly disclosed by the Human Services Department and the attorney general, which is investigating the allegations against providers of mental health and substance abuse services.

The judge said that withheld portions of the audit are law enforcement materials protected from disclosure under the Inspection of Public Records Act.

Visit The Republic for the complete article.

Also, for more background, please see:

New Mexico judge to review behavioral Health Audit

New Mexico Attorney General and Human Services Department release heavily redacted behavioral health audit

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is a member of NFOIC. –eds