More than four years after accusing Southwest Counseling Center of overbilling the state by $2.8 million in Medicaid reimbursements, the New Mexico Human Services Department has settled with the former Las Cruces behavioral health provider for a sliver of that amount — $484.87.
Southwest Counseling was one of 15 health organizations accused of overbilling and potential fraud by Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration in 2013. The state suspended Medicaid payments to the organizations pending an investigation, and outsourced behavioral health contracts to five Arizona companies, which effectively crippled the network of New Mexico behavioral health providers. All the while, the state kept an audit it used to justify keeping the move secret, making it impossible for each organization to know what they were being accused of specifically.