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Congressional Democrats want more oversight of state agency handling mental health services

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SANTA FE, New Mexico — Democrats in New Mexico's congressional delegation are asking for more federal oversight of the state Human Services Department because it suspended Medicaid payments to 15 mental health providers last year.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan made the request to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

The state suspended payments because of fraud and overbilling allegations, and contracted with Arizona companies to take over management of most of the suspended providers.

The system changed in January as Medicaid managed care companies assumed responsibility for behavioral services and contracting with providers.

The congressional letter expressed concerns that services have been disrupted.

But Human Services spokesman Matt Kennicott said more people are receiving services since the transition to the Arizona providers.

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