DPNM Commends Democratic Legislators for Working to Get Answers on Governor Martinez’s Behavioral Health Shakeup

Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico commended President Pro Tempore of the N.M. Senate Mary Kay Papen, House Minority Leader Brian Egoff, and Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez for calling for an investigation of Governor Martinez’s behavioral health shakeup. The Democratic legislators sent a letter requesting the Department of Justice and other appropriate agencies investigate Governor Martinez’s conduct during the behavioral health care shakeup, which caused a severe shortage of behavioral health services in New Mexico.

“New Mexico Democrats are leading the charge to get to the bottom of Governor Martinez’s blatant misuse of power. Her actions caused some of our state’s most vulnerable residents to go without the services, forced some of our longest standing providers to close their doors, and put hundreds of health care professionals out of work at a time when New Mexico is suffering economically,” said Democratic Party of New Mexico Vice-Chair Juan Sanchez III.  “Governor Martinez owes New Mexico the truth for putting the interests of out-of-state companies ahead of our communities.”

In 2013, Governor Susana Martinez brought allegations of fraud against 15 New Mexico behavioral and mental health providers causing a serious deficit in behavioral and mental health services across the state. As of today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared all 15 of those providers of wrongdoing, revealing the needless disruption in service caused by the administration.

The behavioral health shakeup cost taxpayers $28.8 million dollars to chase what was ultimately found to be $1.16 million in billing irregularities. Governor Martinez brought in five out-of-state companies to provide services on $17 million in contracts. Since then, three of the five providers announced they will be leaving the state. The most recent, Agave Health Inc., had just posted 26 job openings in New Mexico and will be leaving in the next 90 days. Its departure will also cause approximately 3,000 patients to lose access to health services New Mexico.

The Arizona companies brought in by Governor Susana Martinez have been linked to some of the Governor’s top campaign donors suggesting a pay-to-play scandal.