Medicaid Fraud Bill Progresses

Armstrong Bill to Strengthen Medicaid Fraud Investigation Process Passes Committee

Action on Bill Comes After AG Cleared Behavioral Health Providers of Fraud Charges

Rep. Deborah Armstrong’s bill to give the New Mexico Attorney General increased authority in investigating false Medicaid claims easily passed the House Health Committee on 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.”

The bill, which has received a message from the governor, now heads to House Judiciary Committee for consideration.


About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie is a long-time health care advocate. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.


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