Planned Parenthood, Legislator Defend Massive Overbilling Practices in California
by Steven Ertelt
September 10, 2010
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) – In new comments about a case pending in federal court showing how California Planned Parenthood massively overbilled the state on the purchase of birth control for poor residents, the abortion business and a state legislator are defending its actions — that could cost it federal funding.
P. Victor Gonzalez, the former Chief Financial Officer for Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles saw millions in fraudulent overbilling to state and federal governments and was subsequently fired when he blew the whistle.
He filed a lawsuit that a lower court dismissed but a federal appeals court, in July, reinstated. http://www.lifenews.com/state5226.html
Gonzalez says his own internal audit estimates that Planned Parenthood overcharged California taxpayers for purchasing birth control by at least $180 million.
A new Fox news report indicates he also found $5.2 million in overbilling at one Planned Parenthood affiliate in San Diego alone and he says Planned Parenthood officials intervened to prevent internal audits.
While other public health facilities and private facilities charged the state between $8 and $9 for a cycle of birth control pills, Planned Parenthood charged almost $12. The Planned Parenthood charge to the California government was several times more than it paid for the drugs originally.
In one case Fox News highlighted yesterday in its report, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles paid $225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills but billed the state government more than $918,000.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California defends the practice in comments to the news outlet.
"The allegations in the lawsuit are false and were addressed by the State of California long ago," it says. "The California State Legislature passed a law in 2004 making it clear that the billing practices at issue in the case are completely permissible."
Former Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson was the sponsor of the law — which came in response to reports of the overbilling instead of fines or charges for those involved in defrauding the government — and she defending the practice to Fox News as one of "access," saying Planned Parenthood could never afford to give birth control to poor women of California without overcharging the state when it sought Medi-Cal refunds.
Though Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California dismisses the lawsuit and questions about it, the national Planned Parenthood abortion business is apparently more concerned.
The regional affiliate of Planned Parenthood where teenager Holly Patterson died from using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug first lost its affiliation with Planned Parenthood in early August because of significant financial mismanagement.
Earlier this month, the New York Times released a new report showing Planned Parenthood Golden Gate faces an audit from the criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service.
The report detailed how an unnamed former employee interviewed with the Oakland field office of the IRS on Tuesday in response to a complaint he lodged with the governmental agency.
The employee, who would not let the Times name him for fear of his future job prospects, said he filed a two-part complaint about the abortion business’ problematic relationship with its political arm and about financial problems at the abortion business.
The overbilling problems also extend to Planned Parenthood centers in New Jersey.
The U.S. Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services uncovered a consistent problem with New Jersey-based family planning clinics run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business. They were found to be improperly billing Medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning.
New Jersey authorities were sent letters in July 2007, June 2008 and August 2008 notifying them of the problems and requesting action to correct the errors. The reports found billing errors from February 1, 2001 through January 31, 2005.
An initial audit revealed New Jersey improperly received federal reimbursement at the enhanced 90% rate for 160,955 prescription drug claims that were billed as family planning, but did not qualify as family planning services. A letter from the Inspector General to New Jersey officials recommended that New Jersey repay $2,219,746 to the federal government.
The state eventually returned $2.9 million to the federal government last month.
Also, pro-life advocates say they believe Planned Parenthood in Iowa is overbilling the state for "bilking insurance companies out of grossly inflated fees."
Operation Rescue revealed Planned Parenthood is charging insurance companies $1,000 for the drug-induced abortion process even though the overhead costs for the abortion are lower with the abortion practitioner off site via telemed abortions.
This overbilling effectively drives up the cost of health insurance for everyone, its president, Troy Newman, contends.
"Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is making a killing on medical abortions," he said. "Planned Parenthood is gouging insurance companies twice the price of their cash abortions. That’s how they can afford to keep their smaller clinics running."
"And if taxpayers are forced to fund these abortions, there’s no telling how much they will charge, because government funding is a blank check," he added.
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