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New Mexico Telegram » Health

DOH announces plan to address medical cannabis shortage, new conditions allowed for

DOH announces plan to address medical cannabis shortage, new conditions allowed for

The secretary of the Department of Health announced a plan to address the shortage of marijuana for medicinal use in the state and that two more conditions were added to the approved list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana in the state. “We take the needs of medical cannabis patients very seriously. The Department commissioned a survey so that a decision about supply could be made based on data,” said Secretary of Health … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health

Audit looks at HSD failings following behavioral health audit

Audit looks at HSD failings following behavioral health audit

A Human Services Department audit showed problems in Fiscal Year 2013, including problems with a switch to new behavioral health providers. The department disputed much of the findings of the independent audit which was released by State Auditor Hector Balderas on Thursday. “The Department created additional fraud risks by violating state contracts and approving advance payments to private contractors for services not rendered,” Balderas said in a statement. “I’m also concerned that HSD approved double-billing and alcohol … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health

Health audit appears to have mistakenly flagged claims, AG says

Health audit appears to have mistakenly flagged claims, AG says

By Trip Jennings The audit the state used to justify suspending Medicaid payments to an Alamogordo health center last year appears to have included mistakenly flagged claims, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. That raises questions about the process the Human Services Department (HSD) used to ensure the audit was accurate before deciding to suspend Medicaid dollars to the Alamogordo organization. Without that funding, The Counseling Center closed its doors last fall. While the AG’s office has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Health

Majority Whip talks constitutional amendments, other session priorities

Majority Whip talks constitutional amendments, other session priorities

As with any time I’ve sat down with the Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller in his Albuquerque district one of his constituents came up to ask him how the session was going to be. In this case it was mailman. “The mailman is the only one who recognizes you because of all the mailers,” Keller joked in an interview with New Mexico Telegram ahead of the start of the legislative session. With his plate full this … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, Education, Featured, Health, New Mexico Senate, Roundhouse, Science/Tech

AG says insufficient evidence of fraud by behavioral health provider

AG says insufficient evidence of fraud by behavioral health provider

The office of Attorney General Gary King announced that there was “insufficient evidence” of fraud for an Alamogordo-based behavioral health provider in a brief press release on Thursday. The behavioral health provider in question is The Counseling Center in Alamogordo. It was among the 15 behavioral health providers that state Human Services Department secretary Sidonie Squier said had “credible allegations of fraud” in a behavioral health audit from last year and so had Medicaid funding suspended. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health

Abortion debate may head to legislature, but won’t be center stage

Abortion debate may head to legislature, but won’t be center stage

Coverage of the proposed 20-week abortion ban in Albuquerque, which was ultimately defeated, dominated New Mexico’s political landscape for weeks. Now in the wake of the defeat and the knowledge that anti-abortion activists aren’t going anywhere, the question comes, “What’s next?” Anti-abortion activists have made noises of bringing the issue to the state legislature — but they run into a roadblock with the 30-day session. In a 30-day session only budget matters and those put on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health, Roundhouse

Judge says audit can remain secret

Judge says audit can remain secret

A district court judge ruled that the behavioral health audit will remain secret and is not subject to the Inspection of Public Records Act. The ruling came in a lawsuit from New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News. Lawyers from the office of the Attorney General and the state Human Services Department successfully argued that the audit should be able to be exempted based on the law enforcement exemption from the Inspection of Public … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured, Health, Open Government

Despite emphatic setback, anti-abortion organizers say they aren’t done

Despite emphatic setback, anti-abortion organizers say they aren’t done

Anti-abortion activists who spearheaded a high turnout special election that would have banned abortions performed after 20 weeks except in extreme circumstances have a message following the vote: they aren’t going anywhere. Albuquerque is the home of Southwest Women’s Options, one of the few clinics in the country that performs abortions on women later than 20 weeks into their pregnancy. It is run by those who worked under Dr. George Tiller in Wichita where he performed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Albuquerque Elections, Featured, Health

Judge will decide on release of behavioral health audit

Judge will decide on release of behavioral health audit

A judge will review the behavioral health audit and decide how much of the document should be released the public. The Associated Press reported on the latest struggle between those who want to keep the audit secret, saying it is a law enforcement record, and those who say it should be subject to the Inspection of Public Records Act and released. The AP: District Judge Sarah Singleton made the decision Tuesday after hearing arguments from lawyers for the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health, Open Government

Gov. Martinez met with anti-abortion advocates in 2011

Gov. Martinez met with anti-abortion advocates in 2011

Gov. Susana Martinez met with controversial anti-abortion advocates from Operation Rescue in 2011 the advocates said at the time. Earlier this week, a photo of the governor and Bud Shaver of Project Defending Life showed up on a pro-life website. A spokesman for Martinez denied that the governor was taking a side in the abortion ban proposal in Albuquerque. The ban would be the first of its kind in the nation. From KRQE: Knell tells News 13 the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Albuquerque Elections, Featured, Health