Mental health provider granted hearing in funding case

Posted at: 09/06/2013 10:50 AM
Updated at: 09/06/2013 10:51 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

ALBUQUERQUE -- A New Mexico mental health provider took a win in the battle against the state over a fraud investigation.

Dr. Babak Mirin of New Mexico Psychiatric Services Corporation claims he was denied due process when the state withheld Medicaid payments in 2012. The payment freeze put the company out of business, and attorney Bryan Davis said the provider is owed $600,000 for services.

A judge ruled this week that New Mexico Psychiatric Services Corporation is entitled to a court-ordered hearing. Davis said the win could also help the 15 mental health providers around the state that are going through a similar ordeal.

"I think this sets a precedent for the state that they can't withhold payments and just let the investigation languish," he said. "Because the problem with that is you end up putting people out of business who may not have done anything."

The state cut off funding to the 15 providers in June after an audit claimed they were over-billing Medicaid.

As for New Mexico Psychiatric Services Corporation, the state will now have to explain the allegations against the provider. The company won't get any of the money it lost back right away, but its lawyer says the case was more about clearing his client's name.