Planned Parenthood operations in Texas have already reimbursed state and local governments for two instances of alleged fraudulent medical service payments.
Though these were minor disputes involving only a few million dollars, a larger controversy has now arisen surrounding the organization’s receipt of millions in taxpayer money for services provided during an extended period when it was not a qualified healthcare provider.
The fight, in fact, could hand the abortion industry leader a bill for an estimated $1.8 billion, and The Washington Stand is noting that the conclusion could be “devastating” for the abortion industry giant.
One previous case involved only some $4.3 million that Planned Parenthood paid to Texas and federal authorities in 2013 when a whistleblower produced internal memos telling Planned Parenthood outlets to “defraud Medicaid by filing phony claims,” the report said.
Karen Reynolds — who worked for 10 years as an employee at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Lufkin, Texas — said local offices bilked Medicaid by ‘billing for medical services not rendered, billing for unwarranted medical services, billing for services not covered by Medicaid, and creating false information in medical records which was material to billing for medical services,” the report explained.
Authorities have stated that Planned Parenthood resolved the case without admitting any wrongdoing, despite then-U.S. Attorney John Bales declaring that it had been misusing federal programs.
Simultaneously, another matter was dealt with in an out-of-court agreement.
Now, according to the Washington Stand, Texas is petitioning a federal judge to impose a fine of over one billion dollars on Planned Parenthood for allegedly filing thousands of fraudulent Medicaid claims over numerous years.
“With interest, fines, and penalties, Planned Parenthood has warned the total fine could be a whopping $1.8 billion, inflicting ‘devastating consequences’ for the abortion chain and potentially causing it to close down its operations in the Lone Star State,” the Stand report said.
The problem developed because Texas began the process of “protecting taxpayers from funding Planned Parenthood” back in 2011.
Officials in the state of Texas recently made several decisions that have had a lasting impact. In an effort to cut the state’s family planning budget, the remaining funds were redirected to community health centers.
In addition, former President Barack Obama cut federal funding for the state’s Women’s Health Program. Governor Rick Perry then declined these funds and established his own program called the Texas Women’s Health Program instead.
The Center for Medical Progress led by David Daleiden released videos that revealed Planned Parenthood as engaging in allegedly unethical practices such as “trafficking in aborted fetal organs”.
As a result of this information, Planned Parenthood was decertified as an official Medicaid provider by Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr., who explained that they were no longer capable of performing medical services safely or ethically.
In 2016, Planned Parenthood was informed of its impending expulsion, with a time period for appeal; however, they chose to sue instead. As reported by The Washington Stand, they were paid $10 million in claims that the state deemed to be improper during this time.
Now Texas is seeking restitution and has filed a lawsuit for “twice the amount of all improper Medicaid fraud payments” from February 2017 to March 2021, plus interest and civil penalties between $5,500 and $11,000 per fraudulent claim as well as attorneys fees and court costs.
The Stand report pointed out, “The abortion chain’s defenders say the $1.8 billion maximum fine would more than bankrupt all three of the Planned Parenthood affiliates operating in the sprawling, pro-life state: Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC); Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Inc. (PPGT); and Planned Parenthood of South Texas, Inc. (PPST).”
Both sides acknowledge that during the mentioned period, Planned Parenthood had become aware of its termination as a qualified Medicaid provider. Nevertheless, the profitable organization insists it acted in compliance with legal requirements. Meanwhile, authorities in Texas are confident that their case is definitive.
“A provider whose Medicaid credentials are terminated is no longer a ‘qualified’ provider and is no longer eligible to seek or receive reimbursement from Medicaid,” it said in court.
“It is unthinkable that Planned Parenthood would continue to take advantage of funding knowing they were not entitled to keep it,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton when the case was started a few months ago, according to the Stand.