Regional
1:43 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Critics Blast NM Behavioral Health Changes

State audit critics say services to drug addicts and mentally disabled residents are being disrupted as New Mexico nonprofits are taken over by Arizona companies brought in by state authorities.

Callers told federal officials in a "listening session" on Wednesday that the upheaval has created fear, uncertainty and distrust among clients.

The session was scheduled by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration after Democrats in New Mexico's congressional delegation requested a public hearing.

The New Mexico Human Services Department in June froze payments to 15 nonprofits that provide mental health and substance abuse services after an audit found what the agency said was a high rate of billing problems and possible mismanagement.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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