AG's office: Mental health fraud investigation will take time

Posted at: 11/05/2013 1:04 PM
Updated at: 11/05/2013 4:40 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4

SANTA FE -- The attorney general's office says their investigation into 15 behavioral health providers accused of fraud will be a "time-consuming case."

The state suspended Medicaid payments to the providers in June over allegations of mismanagement and overbilling claims. More than four months later, the suspension remains and only two providers have agreed to pay back the state in order to restore their funding.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the attorney general's office said they didn't know when the investigation would be complete because they have hundreds of thousands of documents to review.

During a public comment portion of the meeting, professionals in the behavioral health field spoke about how the disruption in care is affecting their clients.

One father, Hashem Faidi, also came forward to talk about his autistic sons, who haven't been able to get one-on-one help since their services changed in August.

"Without help from these agencies, it's really hard for the family to go forward with raising these kids," Faidi said.

The attorney general's office is still determining whether to pursue civil or criminal action if the fraud allegations turn out to be true.