By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Mental Health Resources (MHR) has taken over the behavioral health services that had been provided through Turquoise Health and Wellness, an Arizona firm that pulled out of behavioral health services in New Mexico on March 30.
In Tucumcari, MHR has closed the building that housed Turquoise operations at 1110 E. High St., Tucumcari, and is operating out of MHR’s facility at 1005 S. Monroe St., Tucumcari.
“We are ready to resume all services that Turquoise used to provide, without delay,” Beate Macias, manager of MHR’s Tucumcari facility, said.
Those services include behavior modification, psychiatric service, psycho-social services and counseling, Macias said.
MHR has taken on as many of Turquoise’s staff members as were willing to make the transition, Macias said.
While many Turquoise patients have not yet contacted MHR, Macias said, “we are reaching out for them.”
Treatment foster care, a service that Turquoise provided, has been transferred to The Peak, a medical and behavioral health business in Roswell.
Kevin Berry, The Peak’s director, said treatment foster care cases are referred by Children, Youth and Families Department personnel and juvenile probation facilities.
Turquoise pulled out a little over a year after taking over facilities that had been operated by Teambuilders Counseling Services, which was one of 15 health care providers denied payment for Medicaid Services after a New Mexico Human Services Department investigation in 2013 found apparent wide-spread abuses in charging for services.
Turquoise pulled out, company officials said, because the state’s reimbursements for Medicaid services were not adequate to maintain operations.
Turquoise, a subsidiary of Life Well, Phoenix, Arizona, firm, began offering services in New Mexico in 2013 after Health and Human Services cut off payments to 15 New Mexico-based behavioral health providers. Turquoise was one of five Arizona providers called in to take over for the banished New Mexico providers, including TeamBuilders Counseling Services, which served Quay County.
TeamBuilders was founded in Tucumcari by Shannon and Lorraine Freedle. TeamBuilders grew into a statewide provider, the largest of the 15 providers whose payments were suspended after the 2103 investigation.
Mental Health Resources currently operates in Portales, Clovis and Tucumcari, and provides services in De Baca and Harding counties as needed.