Planned Parenthood Caught Engaging in $28 Million in Medicaid Fraud Loses Bid to Stop Lawsuit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2016   |   12:51PM   |   Washington, DC

Just one Planned Parenthood affiliate in Iowa allegedly committed $28 million in medicaid fraud. And now a federal appeals court has ruled that it can’t stop the lawsuit a former Planned Parenthood clinic director filed against it.

Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Sue Thayer filed the lawsuit against the abortion giant’s Iowa affiliate accusing it of submitting “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid and failing to meet acceptable standards of medical practice. Alliance Defending Freedom filed the suit for Thayer in March 2011.

The lawsuit claims that Planned Parenthood’s Iowa affiliate submitted “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid and failed to meet acceptable standards of medical practice.

Thayer, former manager of Planned Parenthood’s Storm Lake and LeMars clinics, sued under both the federal and Iowa False Claims acts. The suit alleges that Planned Parenthood knowingly committed Medicaid fraud from 2002 to 2009 by improperly seeking reimbursements from Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the Iowa Family Planning Network for products and services not legally reimbursable by those programs.

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“During my last years working at Planned Parenthood, it became increasingly clear to me that not all of their policies and protocols were completely legal and ethical.  After much thought, I contacted the Alliance Defending Freedom,” Thayer said about the lawsuit. “I believe that it is an important piece in the nationwide effort to shed light on the darkness and deception surrounding America’s largest abortion provider – Planned Parenthood.”

The lawsuit alleges that Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, an affiliate now known as Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, filed nearly one-half million false claims with Medicaid from which Planned Parenthood received and retained nearly $28 million.

Planned Parenthood tried to dismiss the lawsuit, but the abortion company’s motion to dismiss was largely unsuccessful, as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled in Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland that two of the three claims may go forward.

ADF attorney Steve Aden told yesterday: “Planned Parenthood views women as profit centers, not patients. Taxpayers deserve to know that Planned Parenthood is acting illegally, not only by wrongfully submitting claims to Medicaid for reimbursement, but also by failing to protect the health of the women it purports to serve. Our tax dollars should fund the thousands of trusted, local public health clinics across America, not the barbaric acts of this billion-dollar corporation.”

The lawsuit explains that, to enhance revenues, Planned Parenthood implemented a “C-Mail” program that automatically mailed a year’s supply of birth control pills to women who had only been seen once at a Planned Parenthood clinic and usually by personnel who were not qualified health care professionals. After that, Planned Parenthood mailed thousands of unrequested birth control pills to those clients.

Planned Parenthood’s cost for a 28-day supply of birth control pills mailed to clients was $2.98, but the Medicaid reimbursement Planned Parenthood received for the pills was $26.32. In some cases, the Postal Service returned the pills to Planned Parenthood. Instead of crediting Medicaid or destroying the returned pills, Planned Parenthood resold the same pills and billed Medicaid twice for the same pills. The suit also claims that Planned Parenthood coerced “voluntary donations” for services and then billed Medicaid for them.