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Mon Dec 26, 2016, 03:42 AM

New Mexico losing fourth Arizona-based provider of substance abuse/mental health services

Valle del Sol, one of five Arizona-based organizations that began providing substance abuse and other mental health services to low-income New Mexicans in 2013 amid a state behavioral health shake-up, is the fourth to announce it will be shutting down its New Mexico operations.

Angela Florez, chief development officer for Valle del Sol, on Thursday said the agency is working with the New Mexico Human Services Department to help smooth the transition for patients at its seven locations across the state.

Valle del Sol and the four other Arizona nonprofits began contracting with the Human Services Department in the summer of 2013 to provide treatment services for Medicaid patients after the department accused 15 New Mexico-based behavioral health contractors of fraudulent billing practices. The state froze Medicaid reimbursements to most of those organizations, and many were forced to shut down amid investigations and legal battles that continue, even after the state attorney general cleared all 15 of criminal wrongdoing.

Three of the Arizona nonprofits Agave Health, La Frontera Center and Turquoise Health and Wellness have already left the state. The planned departure of Valle del Sol raises further questions about how extensively the behavioral health shake-up has affected the publicly funded system that provides low-income residents with mental health and addiction services particularly in a state with some of the highest rates of poverty, suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol-related deaths.

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/n-m-losing-fourth-ariz--based-provider/article_7da197d3-2366-5238-abe6-4d5b9489e3a2.html

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