|Dr. Babak Mirin: savvy or deceptive businessman?|
Earlier this month NMPS filed a lawsuit against New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD). In NM case number D-101-CV-201202787, NMCourts.gov listed the complaint for "Declaratory Judgment and Violation of the Inspection of Public Records Act" (IPRA). Sounds innocent enough, right? Originally, we thought so too. After some thought we decided that there must be something there so we did some digging. We manged to get our hands on the entire complaint filed by NMPS's attorney. It turns out that HSD's Medical Assistance Division (MAD) sent NMPS a certified letter that may just be the answer to the Healing Gardens vs NMPS question.
In the letter dated February 20,2012, marked as exhibit A, HSD placed a Medicaid payment suspension on NMPS because there was "a credible allegation of fraud for which an investigation is pending." In a later letter HSD/MAD refers NMPS to the New Mexico Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).
Here is the entire court complaint.
Here are the Exhibits from the complaint for your reading pleasure.
NMPS and Dr. Babak Mirin did us a great favor by including documents in filing suit against HSD. For that we thank them.
It would be difficult for NMPS to get a lucrative contract at Sequoyah Adolescent Treatment Center with a Medicaid payment suspension in effect. In fact it would be impossible. Solution? Create a new company that is not suspended from receiving Medicaid payments. So, in May 2012 Healing Gardens Medical Management Inc. is born! Ah, now we are thinking. Now, how do we get Healing Gardens to get awarded contracts based on NMPS's proposal? That is the truly baffling part. How does company A have their proposal accepted but company B get to use company A's proposal to get awarded a contract? Certainly sounds a bit underhanded. Anyone in Contracts at DOH want to give us an answer?
Dr. Babak Mirin and his NMPRC Filings
Dr. Babak Mirin is president and CEO/Director of Healing Garden Medical Management Inc., New Mexico Psychiatric Services Corporation (NMPS), Sunrise Psychiatric Management Company, NM Mental Health Management Company, Chaves County Medical Management Company and Suspended Eastern New Mexico Mental Health, Inc.
Of all of the businesses listed under Dr. Mirin with the NMPRC as of 10/27/2012, only NMPS is listed as in good standing. Healing Garden has a contract to provide services at Sequoyah Adolescent Treatment Center without ever submitting a bid response to the New Mexico Department of Health's (DOH) Request for Proposal (RFP). Why is DOH doing business with a company that is not in good standing with NMPRC?
Other Court Cases
While we were looking into Dr. Babak Mirin's suit with HSD we thought we would also check out a wrongful death suit where Mirin is listed as a defendant.
Here is the complaint. Have a read. Keep in mind that the case is pending in the courts..
Statutes Regarding RFPs
When reading through the state statutes regarding procurement, I couldn't find the part where you can select a completely different company to award contracts to who didn't make any offer whatsoever. The wording of the statute says, "An award shall be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal is most advantageous to a state agency, taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth in the RFP." It sounds like the interpretation of "most advantageous to a state agency" sort of got lost in translation somewhere along the way because a high price for services does not sound advantageous to the taxpayer.
The Santa Fe Reporter's Joey Peters wrote a story about Sequoyah that printed in today's SFR edition.
If you have anything to add, please share your comments below.
This is post a part of a multi-part series investigating issues at Sequoyah Adolescent Treatment Center.