June 30, 2017 – In 2013, the Martinez administration stopped Medicaid payments to 15 behavioral health providers amid allegations of fraudulent billing. All of the providers have since been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, but several went out of business during the investigation. Clients and families continue to suffer the long-term impact of a major disruption in services across the state. One provider, Southwest Counseling Center, settled with the state for less than five-hundred dollars. Host Gene Grant and this week’s Line opinion panelists react to the latest news on the behavioral health shakeup and talk about what needs to be done to ensure New Mexicans have access to mental health and substance abuse services.
Line Panelists: Dede Feldman, former state senator
Dan Foley, former House minority whip
Tom Garrity, the Garrity Group PR
Laura Sanchez-Rivét, attorney at Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP
June 23, 2017 - Mental health issues and substance abuse or addiction are often intertwined. About one third of people experiencing mental illness also struggle with substance abuse. It was common for decades to treat these issues separately. That began shifting, especially after a medical paper published in 2000 called for treating addiction like any other chronic disease. New Mexico continues to have one of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths. Alcohol related deaths in our state have also hovered near the top in national rankings.
A report by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2016 noted that one in 7 people is expected to develop a substance abuse disorder at some point in their lives but only about one in 10 will get treatment. About 40 percent of these people will also have a mental health disorder, yet only about 48 percent will get treatment. So how do we integrate mental health and addiction treatment to help more New Mexicans? Correspondent Megan Kamerick examines these issues with a panel of local experts in the final installment of our series this month on current behavioral health services.