Report claims Planned Parenthood engages in Medicaid fraud

Earlier this month, the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom released a report on Medicaid fraud committed by Planned Parenthood — as if we needed yet another reason to defund the abortion giant:

The publicly available audits summarized herein, as well as confidential sources who have inside knowledge of Planned Parenthood’s operations, strongly suggest that Planned Parent­hood affiliates systematically take advantage of “overbilling” opportunities to maximize revenues in complex, well-funded federal and state programs that are understaffed and rely on the integrity of the provider for program compliance.

According to Planned Parenthood’s own graphic, much of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding comes by way of Medicaid reimbursements…

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. Extremists’ true intent is to block millions of people who rely on Medicaid from care at Planned Parenthood health centers:

Posted by Planned Parenthood Action on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Again, according to the Lozier Institute, Planned Parenthood “take[s] advantage of “overbilling” opportunities to maximize revenues” because state and federal programs “rely on the integrity of the provider for program compliance.” This is a recipe ripe for fraud.

The claims that Planned Parenthood is committing fraud are not partisan. In fact, there have been 51 audits or reviews of Planned Parenthood affiliates, and nearly all of them found the organization committing fraud through overbilling. What’s more, of the organizations audited, only Planned Parenthood was found to engage in such abuse.

The 30-page report details state audits spanning years, with staggering numbers. As much as $5.2 million was overbilled in one year in one audit; the average overbilling amount was more than $94,000. According to the report, “Auditors and investigators have specifically identified Planned Parenthood affiliates as the source of at least $12.8 million in waste, abuse, and poten­tially fraudulent overbilling and penalties,” with former employees alleging “many millions more.”

Audits of state family planning programs found “[o]verbilling… [which] amounted to more than $123.8 million.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute is not the first to highlight Planned Parenthood’s abuses. Live Action News has reported on several accusations of fraud and lawsuits, which are mentioned at the end of the Lozier report as well.

Americans don’t want their money ($553.7 million of it) going to a national and world leader in abortions. Planned Parenthood has shown itself to be an organization overcome by greed, abuse, and disrespect for the system and taxpayers who enable it to remain in operation. It appears that the enabling of fraud goes all the way to the top, as the report states:

The weight of evidence indicates that waste by Planned Parenthood affiliates may be widespread, and suggests that such policies may be the result of, at a minimum, a policy of benign neglect over billing practices organization-wide by Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s headquarters in New York City.

Donald Trump has promised to sign legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. Now that he is president, pro-lifers are calling on him to make good on this promise, especially in light of evidence of fraud. Should this happen, pro-life Americans will have their consciences protected, and can rest easy knowing their money is not going against their wills to an organization so ridden with scandal and rampant abuse.

Based on numerous previous scandals, the pro-life movement was already committed to defunding Planned Parenthood. Pro-lifers are also armed with the knowledge that taxpayer funding is fungible, making the claim that taxpayers ‘don’t pay for abortion’ a meaningless statement.

Taxpayers are forced to contribute to this organization, whether they believe in Planned Parenthood’s extremist abortion views or not. There is no controversy, however, with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FHQCs), which would receive monies currently allotted for Planned Parenthood. FHQCs are not mired in scandal, and in that respect alone, are far more deserving of taxpayer support.

How can taxpayers trust an organization so steeped in scandal, which has already been found to have committed Medicaid fraud? Are they to merely take the word of Planned Parenthood itself as to its integrity? Knowing what audits have uncovered, this just isn’t good enough:

The federal audits have detailed “unbundling” or “fragmentation” billing schemes related to pre-abortion examinations, counseling visits, and other services performed in conjunction with an abortion, and improper billing for the abortions themselves. In New York alone during one four-year audit period, it appeared that hundreds of thousands of abortion-related claims were billed unlawfully to Medicaid.

The Lozier report recommends not only defunding, but investigations — including from the Government Accountability Office and Medicaid Fraud Control Units. Greater transparency can be demanded, as can updates to False Claims Act laws and Medicaid regulations.

Much more can and should be done to hold this corrupt abortion organization accountable.

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