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Study: Medicaid providers mostly can't be reached by phone


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A “secret shopper” accountability study shows that medical patients can’t readily schedule appointments by phone through Medicaid providers in New Mexico, even as the state and federal government spend $8.8 billion annually on the health care program that serves nearly half of the state's residents. The budget and accountability office of the Legislature presented its findings Tuesday to a panel of lawmakers. The agency surveyed by phone private providers of Medicaid health care services as well as providers of mental health and addiction counseling. About 13% of attempts to make an appointment were successful.