Guest by post by Bob Unruh
This article originally appeared on WND.com
Took money while it was not a ‘qualified’ care provider
Planned Parenthood operations in Texas already have repaid tax money on at least two occasions to the state and local governments for cashing checks for medical services that were alleged to be fraud.
But those disputes involved only a few millions.
Now a much larger fight has erupted because it also allegedly took in millions of dollars from taxpayers for services during a years-long period when it was not a “qualified” health care 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 say Planned Parenthood settled the case without admitting guilt, even though then-U.S. Attorney John Bales said it was abusing federal programs.
A second incident came up about the same time, but it was settled out of court.
In the newest case, the Washington Stand reported, Texas is asking a federal judge to fine Planned Parenthood more than $1 billion “for filing ‘thousands’ of fraudulent Medicaid claims over multiple 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 cut the state’s family planning budget and directed what was left to community health centers. Then Barack Obama cut federal funding for the state’s Women’s Health Program, and then-Gov. Rick Perry turned away federal funds and created the state’s own “Texas Women’s Health Program.”
At that time videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, and chief David Daleiden, revealed “Planned Parenthood trafficking in aborted fetal organs.”
The state ended up decertifying Planned Parenthood as an official Medicaid provider, with inspector general Stuart Bowen Jr. explaining to the abortionists, “The state has determined that you and your Planned Parenthood affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent safe, legal and ethical manner.”
Planned Parenthood was notified in 2016 that the expulsion would start after a time frame for an appeal, in January 2017.
But, The Washington Stand explained, instead of appealing, Planned Parenthood sued and continued collecting payments until it eventually lost at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
During that time period it billed for and was paid $10 million in claims the state said never should have been filed.
And now Texas wants the money back in a battle that seeks “twice the amount of all improper Medicaid fraud payments” between February 2017 and March 2021, plus interest, plus “civil penalties between $5,500 and $11,000 for each fraudulent claim.
And 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).”
But the report noted both sides concede for that time period, “Planned Parenthood knew it had lost its status as a qualified Medicaid provider.”
The profitable corporation is claiming it acted in good faith when it continued billing for services.
According to the Stand, authorities in Texas believe their case is “open-and-shut.”
“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.
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