Wednesday, August 4, 2021


The youngest students along with faculty and staff will need to mask up in states like New Mexico; and President Biden calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a report on sexual harassment.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts to sexual harassment report; CDC places new limits on evictions until October; and a new study finds Democrats could lose control of US House in 2022 due to Republican gerrymandering.

Why Thousands of New Mexicans Might Lose Their Therapists


Photo by: Beth Blakeman

Tuesday, July 30, 2013   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Mental-health centers that dispense as much as 85 percent of New Mexico's mental health, PTSD and substance abuse services may be locking their doors and going dark, because of claims of suspicion of fraud after an audit. Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier stopped state and Medicaid funding to 15 providers in June.

Efforts to get that funding restored have failed thus far, and Squier has called on Arizona agencies to take over.

According to State Senator Jerry Ortiz Y Pino, moving control of this number of New Mexico services to Arizona agencies is unprecedented.

"They will be, in my mind, a serious disproportionate power," he said. "So when the individual therapists go to negotiate, they might be told, 'We're only going to pay you $25 an hour: take it or leave it.' And they won't have anything to fall back on. I think that's what's really underlying this. It's an attempt to make sure that the new behavioral health care will be much more profitable for the corporate entities that operate it," Ortiz Y Pino charged.

Governor Susana Martinez has said her administration wants to make sure there is no fraud, waste or abuse taking place. She added that there will be no loss of services to the mentally ill and substance abusers.

Ortiz Y Pino said however it will likely take six to eight weeks for the audit to be completed, and by that time, he believes many of those agencies will be forced to close.

Ortiz Y Pino, who is himself a social worker, pointed to the human cost of withholding funds from the largest mental health care providers across the state.

"I think the Secretary is thinking of bringing in the new management company as if the people being served were automobiles in a car pool," he charged. "It ignores the fact that in behavioral health each client has established a relationship with providers. And you can't just replace that overnight and say, 'Go ahead and continue spilling your guts to them on the same basis you did the previous people. And all is going to be well.'"

Patric Hooper, a California attorney representing eight mental health service providers in New Mexico, filed a motion for an injunction with the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday. He said his clients are asking both the circuit and the district court for the same thing.

"We are contending that we have a right to a hearing to challenge these allegations of fraud before we can have our money suspended any longer and before we can be disparaged in the newspapers."

Hooper hopes to know the decision of the Court of Appeals by next week.

get more stories like this via email

Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, could land on a list of more than 60 blacklisted companies prohibited from doing business with the State of Florida. (Stevepb/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to block any state money from going to the parent company of ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's unless …

Social Issues

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is trying to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get to their appointments with social service agencies by in…


BILLINGS, Mont. - Montanans are being challenged this month to eat locally grown foods, every day of August. The Northern Plains Resource Council is …

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is also asking the Arkansas Legislature to reconsider Act 977, which bans state and local officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the term "Extraordinary Session," as state lawmakers are in Little Rock again today to …

Health and Wellness

SEATTLE - Speaking to folks who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine has gained a new sense of urgency as the Delta variant pushes cases up…

Ayolanda Evans Mack of the group Protect Minnesota is at the helm of a new documentary about what it would take to rid a community of gun violence. (Black Light Media)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS - Cities such as Minneapolis are getting attention over waves of gun violence in recent months. A statewide group hopes a new documentary …

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The people behind efforts to recall four Fargo School Board members have until August 25th to collect signatures. Ahead of that …

Social Issues

By Katie Fleischer for Ms. MagazineBroadcast version by Lily Böhlke for Tennessee News Service/Public News Service NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021