Las Cruces mental health provider cutting staff

LAS CRUCES, NM - An Arizona company contracted to handle Medicaid-funded behavioral health care in southern New Mexico has cut nearly a quarter of its staff.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Saturday that La Frontera lost 87 of the 400 employees it inherited after being brought in by the state to replace six nonprofit mental health providers under investigation.

The Tucson, Arizona-based firm has reduced staffing and also had several workers quit.

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CEO Dan Ranieri says La Frontera was losing money and needed to keep spending in line with revenues.

Employees say the staff shortage and computer system changes are affecting services for clients.

La Frontera was hired by the state in summer 2013 while the state Attorney General's Office investigated several nonprofits for alleged overbilling and fraud.

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