April 30th First News: State Senator: Behavioral Health Managed-Care A Failure (Listen)

Apr 30, 2014

 New Mexico’s transition to a managed-care approach for Medicaid-funded behavioral healthcare has failed to serve the people the system was designed to help. That from Albuquerque State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, who says the move has benefitted health maintenance organizations rather than people in need. Ortiz y Pino notes New Mexico is spending 650-million Medicaid dollars a year for behavioral health services, and says the new approach to those in need is apparent. *****043014-OyP-5 :41***** But Matt Kennicott, the spokesman for the New Mexico Human Services Department, has a different take: *****043014-Kennicott-1 :50***** Senator Ortiz y Pino contends the as yet undisclosed charges of Medicaid Fraud against the 15 New Mexico behavioral health providers that led to the termination of their state contracts facilitated the change to managed care. The Democrat says it’s been a year since the allegations against the New Mexico providers surfaced, and: *****043014-OyP-1 :35***** Albuquerque Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino is the co-chair of the Senate’s Behavioral Health Subcommittee.

New Mexico’s Supreme Court has effectively ended Crownpoint State Representative Sandra Jeff’s political career as a Democrat. The high court upholding a lower court ruling Tuesday that Jeff failed to submit enough valid petition signatures to be on the June Third Democratic Primary ballot. Jeff’s efforts to win a fourth term in the State House are apparently undeterred: she announced after the decision that she’ll run as a write-in candidate in the November General Election.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today, with a high near 53. Tonight-Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain showers before midnight, then a slight chance of snow showers, with the overnight low, 32. Tomorrow: Partly sunny, with a high near 53.