NM Foundation for Open Government calls for release of health audit

Submitted by LDieringer on Tue, 07/30/2013 - 11:01am

From Alamogordo Daily News:   The state must publicly release an audit that flagged 15 New Mexico health organizations, three of which are in Las Cruces, for problems including overbilling and possible fraud, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government says.

Two state agencies -- the Human Services Department (HSD) and Attorney General's Office (AG) -- have failed to release the full audit of the 15 behavioral health providers, which serve thousands of New Mexicans struggling with issues such as mental illness and drug addiction. [NMFOG] says the state is required by law to release the full audit along with information that deciphers a code used in the audit to identify the 15 organizations, including Las Cruces-based Southwest Counseling Center and Families and Youth Inc., as well as TeamBuilders, which operates primarily in the county.

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"The AG and HSD are withholding specific details that would allow New Mexicans to see through the fog on why certain behavioral health services are being defunded," said FOG's executive director, Terry Schleder. "This is the opposite of transparency. New Mexico can't afford to operate in the dark this way."

Both state agencies have released parts of the audit to NMID, which requested the report, but they have withheld the majority of the document, including portions that would detail specific problems with each of the providers.

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