Late on Friday afternoon, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government announced that the office of the Attorney General and the Human Services Department released a “heavily redacted” version of the behavioral health audit.
The version of the audit released is available at the end of this post.
The audit was the justification for suspending Medicaid payments to 15 mental health providers (although three later had funding restored) because the audits allegedly showed “credible allegations of fraud” by the providers. Few have been able to see the audit since then, with even providers who had funding suspended being among those shut out of seeing the audit.
“The Attorney General and HSD still refuse to release the entire report,” NM FOG said in a statememt. “The version released today is still significantly redacted, and FOG will continue its efforts to obtain release of the full report.”
News organizations from around the state and NM FOG sued the state for the release of the audit under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act. These calls were rejected, with the state saying it was part of an ongoing investigation and so is exempt from IPRA.
Since the suspension of funding, there have been disruptions in services for some seeking mental health treatment from new firms that were contracted by the state to take over.
A Friday afternoon release is often known as the “Friday news dump.” This is when politicians and government agencies often release potentially embarrassing information, as weekends have a less intense news cycle than weekdays.