NM mental health system audit, fix could hit $21M

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials say the potential price tag for fixing problems within New Mexico's behavioral health system could reach nearly $21 million.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/11MLyxj) that an audit of 15 providers cost around $3 million to produce. That audit alleged potential fraud and resulted this week in the halting of Medicaid payments and other funding to the 15 nonprofits.

State officials also said that if the nonprofit groups don't seek "exceptions" to keep Medicaid payments going, outside providers would be brought into New Mexico to keep mental health services going for patients. That could cost another $18 million.

The $3 million audit of the period from July 2009 through 2012 was done by the Public Consulting Group, a Boston-based management consulting firm.

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