I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Behavioral health firm disputes $1 million state penalty
OptumHealth New Mexico, the firm slapped with a penalty of more than $1 million in October for not paying hundreds of providers for services already rendered—sometimes for months—is disputing the state’s action, a state official announced Thursday.
Linda Roebuck Homer, director of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative, announced the company’s decision to dispute the penalty and other sanctions during an afternoon meeting at the state Capitol.
The Collaborative received word of Optum’s decision in a letter sent Nov. 13, Roebuck Homer said.
The collaborative hired Optum earlier this year to manage the state’s behavioral health system, which covers services to the mentally ill and those struggling with substance abuse.
But soon after Optum took over in July hundreds of nonprofits and businesses that provide services found themselves cash strapped because Optum was not paying them, sometimes for months, for services already delivered. The culprit was a claims management system that wasn’t approving payments to providers.
The collaborative has scheduled a Jan. 7 hearing at the Capitol to go over Optum’s challenge to the state penalty and other sanctions.