New Mexico In Depth

KUNM Media Partner

New Mexico In Depth aims to invigorate New Mexico journalism through their reporting, through working with other journalists as collaborators or mentors, and through media partnerships that leverage collective resources, with the goal of telling in-depth stories of people who represent our diversity and challenging power in a way that informs and empowers people and communities.

Local News
5:00 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Super PAC Takes Last Minute Aim At Udall

Another super PAC took aim at Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall on the final weekend before Tuesday’s general election as New Mexico's political advertising neared $12.2 million in the final full week of the election season.

Meanwhile, an analysis of gubernatorial elections across the nation ranks New Mexico's contest for governor as among the most negative. Republican Incumbent Susana Martinez has dominated political TV ad buys, running seven times the number of Democratic challenger, Attorney General Gary King.

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Public Health New Mexico
11:26 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Behavioral Health Audit Firm Didn’t Follow Normal Practice

Credit audit screen shot

A Massachusetts firm that audited 15 health organizations in New Mexico last year normally gives companies it’s scrutinizing a chance to respond before issuing official findings.

It is a common practice for auditors. Running the findings by staff gives organizations the opportunity to refute findings or address misunderstandings. It’s a way of ensuring the accuracy of an audit, among other things.

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Local News
11:50 am
Tue October 28, 2014

PAC Ads Target State House Races

Two political action committees are targeting state House races with television ads to air through Election Day.

Patriot Majority New Mexico, a union-funded state level PAC, is spending almost $96,000 to air 157 ads supporting Democrats and opposing Republicans in Albuquerque and El Paso.

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Local News
3:13 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Outside Groups Spar In Secretary Of State, AG Races

An outside GOP group is airing ads against New Mexico's Democratic candidate for attorney general, while a Democratic group is attacking the Republican secretary of state.

And if you’re counting down to Election Day, include at least 5,000 political ads on TV in your tally. That’s about the number of ads currently scheduled to run between Friday and Nov. 4.

But that’s only about 18 percent of more than 27,000 TV ads that have been contracted to air for New Mexico campaigns during 2014.

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Local News
9:53 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Democrat King Returns To Air, Documentary Attacks Martinez

Screenshot from a television ad for Democrat Gary King.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King returned to the airwaves last week, while a political action committee made a documentary case against GOP Gov. Susana Martinez.

Political advertising in New Mexico topped $9 million in contracts through Oct. 10. Aired back-to-back, those ads would take up nearly 8.5 days of viewing, a New Mexico In Depth analysis shows. The analysis is based on contracts filed by TV stations with the Federal Elections Commission. It doesn’t include cable or satellite TV buys or radio advertising.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:38 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Health Provider Says State Refused Evidence Refuting Audit

Credit Rubén Diaz Alonso via Flickr

A state agency citing potential Medicaid fraud refused to consider documents that could have cleared a health care provider of allegations that it had overcharged the government by as much as $4.3 million, the organization’s officials said this week. 

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Local News
8:04 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

State, Congressional Candidates Hit TV Airwaves

Credit Robert Smith via Flickr

With Election Day less than a month away, more New Mexico candidates will hit the airwaves in coming weeks seeking your vote.

Nearly $7.7 million is being spent for almost 177 hours of political ads in the state, according to a New Mexico In Depth analysis of new ad contracts filed last week with the Federal Communications Commission. The analysis includes ads on traditional TV stations; satellite and cable-only stations aren’t required to file with the FCC.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:29 am
Wed September 10, 2014

News Orgs Appeal Ruling That Lets Health Audit Stay Secret

New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News are appealing District Judge Douglas R. Driggers' August ruling allowing the audit to remain secret.
Credit Robin Zielinski / Las Cruces Sun-News

Two news organizations are asking the N.M. Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling allowing last year’s audit of 15 health organizations to remain secret.

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From New Mexico In Depth
5:48 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Judge Rules Health Audit Can Remain Secret

Credit Yuri Yu. Samoilov via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A state agency can continue to keep secret most of an audit it used last year to suspend funding for 15 health organizations and spark criminal investigations into potential Medicaid fraud, a judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling marks the second time in nine months that Douglas R. Driggers, a district judge in Doña Ana County, has agreed with the state’s Human Services Department (HSD) and Attorney General’s Office (AG) that protecting an ongoing criminal investigation trumps the public’s right to information.

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Local News
2:08 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Commentary: We Must Treat Central American Immigrants Humanely

Credit EJP Photo via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The Los Angeles Times told the story in 2002 of Enrique, a 17-year-old boy from Honduras who made the treacherous trip across Mexico to reach his mother in the United States.

What inspired me most in the Pulitzer Prize-winning series Enrique’s Journey was the teen’s tenacity in the face of life-threatening danger.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:53 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

NMInDepth: Open Letter To Sens. O'Neill and Ortiz y Pino

Credit publik15 via Flickr

Dear Senators Bill O’Neill and Jerry Ortiz y Pino:

We at New Mexico In Depth were a bit confused - befuddled might be a better word - at your press release yesterday. It bears the title “Media Scrutiny Finally Gives Behavioral Health Debacle the Investigation Warranted” and begins with this line:

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Public Health New Mexico
8:13 am
Wed May 7, 2014

AG Probe Raises Questions About Health Audit’s Integrity

The Santa Fe nonprofit Easter Seals El Mirador was cleared of Medicaid fraud on Tuesday by the Attorney General's Office.
Credit Bryant Furlow / New Mexico In Depth

Last year, the state’s Human Resources Department said an audit had helped find “credible allegations of fraud” against 15 New Mexico health organizations offering services such as drug addiction treatment and suicide counseling. Though HSD kept the audit secret — from the public and the organizations themselves — the department asserted the audit's findings justified suspending Medicaid funding for the organizations.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:26 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Arizona Health Company Cuts Staff In Southern NM

One of La Frontera's centers in Las Cruces. The company has let 26 employees go since mid-March.
Credit Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

La Frontera, an Arizona firm brought in last year to care for the mentally ill and those struggling with addiction across Southern New Mexico, laid off or fired 20 employees last week.

About half were laid off to reduce expenses; the rest were fired for “performance issues,” according to Dan Ranieri, Tucson, Az.-based CEO for La Frontera New Mexico.

Another six workers, including two “director level” staffers, have resigned since mid-March, Ranieri said Tuesday.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:08 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Audit Of HSD Finds Problems With 2013 Behavioral Health Transition

Credit publik15 via Flickr

The chaotic transition a state agency forced last year from 15 New Mexico-based health organizations to five Arizona companies had many problems, an annual audit has found.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:23 am
Tue February 25, 2014

NM Attorney General: Health Audit Appears To Have Mistakenly Flagged Claims

The audit the state used to justify suspending Medicaid payments to an Alamogordo health center last year appears to have included mistakenly flagged claims, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

That raises questions about the process the Human Services Department (HSD) used to ensure the audit was accurate before deciding to suspend Medicaid dollars to the Alamogordo organization.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:13 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Health Guides Work To Convince Native Americans To Try Obamacare

Sonny Weahkee, a health guide working to sign Native Americans up for health insurance, demonstrates his outreach “rap” with coworkers outside the nonprofit’s headquarters in Albuquerque.
Credit Bryant Furlow / New Mexico In Depth

When he learns that signing up for Medicaid will mean he can visit a nearby hospital in Española instead of traveling to Santa Fe for urgent care, the Native American man sits back in his chair, eyebrows arched. Then he smiles.

“Cool! Oh that’s good,” the gray-haired, middle-aged man from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo says.

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Public Health New Mexico
11:39 am
Fri January 24, 2014

AG Releases New Portion Of Health Audit

A screenshot of a page from the portion of the Public Consulting Group audit that details findings for The Counseling Center in Alamogordo.

A state-hired auditor found $1,873 in questionable Medicaid payments to a health-care provider cleared of fraud last week by the state's top cop, according to a portion of the audit released Wednesday.

Using a statistical formula, the auditor then extrapolated from that $1,873 figure to come up with approximately $612,000 in potential Medicaid overpayments by The Counseling Center in Alamogordo, the document shows.

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