New Phoenix Call Center Prepares To Open As Investigation Unfolds

August 27, 2013

A health care business called “Connextions” (Connections) is hiring hundreds of employees for a new call center in Phoenix, but Connextions’ parent company is involved in an investigation in New Mexico.Connextions will hold a job fair Tuesday in Ahwatukee to hire 500 workers who will advise Medicare patients. The call center was promoted in a city of Phoenix press release that quotes Mayor Greg Stanton and Gov. Jan Brewer praising Connextions for selecting the Valley.   

But, Connextions' parent company Optum Health is under scrutiny after financial irregularities were identified.  Optum manages a behavioral health network of 1,100 organizations that includes 15 private non-profit care providers named in a recent audit.  It says they may have overbilled Medicaid by $36-million.  

A few months ago, New Mexico Goveror Susanna Martinez’s administration ordered a freeze on Medicaid payments to the 15 groups as the investigation continues. 

City of Phoenix spokeswoman Sina Matthes said in a written statement the city is aware that Optum Health is involved in the audit but she said the jobs at the Phoenix call center are not related.  

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