Rep. Deborah Armstrong’s bill to give the New Mexico Attorney General increased authority in investigating false Medicaid claims was heard in the House Health Committee Thursday, only a few days after Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared 10 more behavioral health providers accused of Medicaid fraud more than two years ago by the Martinez Administration.
“While HB 201 does not relate directly to the alleged Medicaid fraud within the state’s behavioral health system,” Armstrong said, “the disastrous disruption in services those allegations caused made it clear that we needed the most effective system possible to quickly and thoroughly investigate false Medicaid claims.”
In order to expedite civil investigations of false Medicaid claims, Armstrong’s bill gives the Office of the Attorney General – in addition to the Human Services Department – access to documentation and the authority to conduct an investigation.
“It makes sense,” Armstrong said. “The Attorney General already has the resources and the experience necessary to conduct timely, thorough investigations. By allowing the Attorney General to take on Medicaid false claims investigations, we are maximizing state resources and creating a process that providers, insurers and patients can trust.”
HB 201 now heads to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.