New Mexico Shifts $7.5 Million To Arizona Companies For Mental Health Services

Jul 26, 2013

The Human Services Department is shifting $7.5 million within its budget to cover start-up costs of Arizona companies that will take over for New Mexico behavioral health providers under investigation for potential fraud.

A department spokesman said Friday the budget adjustment allows the agency to spend the money on contract services rather than other expenses, including health care through Medicaid.

The agency plans another budget transfer of about $10 million for behavioral health.

The state has frozen payments to more than a dozen providers under investigation. The Arizona companies are to step to prevent an interruption of services.

Legislative Finance Committee Deputy Director Charles Sallee says the budget transfers shouldn't squeeze Medicaid because it's running a surplus but a hearing is likely for lawmakers to review the $10 million switch.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.