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Cuts prompt Las Cruces behavioral-health agency to downsize, relocate

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:47:35 AM CST
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 10:52:40 AM CDT

Families & Youth Inc. loses funding after state officials says audit showed evidence of Medicaid fraud.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

A Las Cruces behavioral health provider is scaling back on operations. The CEO said his agency has been forced to downsize after the state cut its Medicaid funding.

The state alleges an audit of Families and Youth Inc. revealed evidence of over billing and possible Medicaid fraud.

CEO Jose Frietze told ABC-7 the state has not shown him what evidence they found.

"The sad part about it is that you can allege there's been fraud but you should provide an agency the opportunity to defend itself. We have not had that opportunity. That is what is the awful part about this whole process," Frietze said.

Earlier this week, representatives from the New Mexico Attorney General's Office went to the agency to investigate. Frietze said he's confident the AG's investigation will clear his name.

"Families and Youth Inc. has not committed fraud. We may have had some billing errors. Those occur, and I know they probably will find some billing errors, but I can tell you they will not find fraud. Fraud is very serious," Frietze said.

Until then La Frontera, a company contracted by the state, will take over the agency's Medicaid patients.

Frietze and his agency will continue to provide services to non-Medicaid clients. The agency is moving to smaller buildings to continue operations.

Frietze said he hopes to serve Medicaid patients in the future after his name is cleared.

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