One in Five Planned Parenthood Affiliates Face Financial Controversy, Report Says

Fred Lucas | February 7, 2012 | 3:11pm EST
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( – One in five Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide have been cited for financial irregularities, according to a report by the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious liberty legal organization that based its findings on data from state and federal audits.

The report was sent to Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which is investigating the use of federal funds going by Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has 79 affiliates across the country.

“In our view these audits demonstrate and our inside sources confirm that Planned Parenthood’s primary motivation is to take care of overbilling opportunities to maximize revenue in complex, well-funded federal and state programs that are understaffed and rely on the integrity of the provider for program compliance,” said Steven H. Aden, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

“We think it’s not about quality health care. In short, we think it’s about the bottom line. We think it’s about money,” Aden said.

The report compiled information from 10 separate audits in four states that showed $7.8 million in Medicaid overpayments to Planned Parenthood. California state auditors probed Planned Parenthood once in 2004. New York state conducted seven audits of the organization in 2009 and 2010. Texas conducted an audit in 2009. Washington state conducted an audit from 2007-2009.

The audits found 12 types of potential fraud by Planned Parenthood affiliates, including overbilling Medicaid; billing Medicaid for abortion-related services in violation of the federal Hyde Amendment that bars federal funding of abortion; dispensing prescription drugs – including oral contraception – without a prescription; and billing for services not medically necessary.

“These ten state audits found numerous improper practices resulting in significant Title XIX-Medicaid overpayments of nearly $8 million to Planned Parenthood affiliates for family planning and reproductive health services claims,” the report said. “Furthermore, thirty-eight federal audits of state family planning programs by HHS-OIG found between $88 million and $99 million in overbilling.”

Planned Parenthood has been in the news recently after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer foundation, initially withdrew funding from Planned Parenthood before reversing itself under heavy political pressure and restoring funding.

Oversight of federal money going to Planned Parenthood is long overdue, said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization.

“After 40 years of receiving taxpayer funding, not one oversight hearing of Planned Parenthood has occurred,” Dannenfelser told reporters during the conference call. “Now is the time for scrutiny on behalf of it’s most important benefactor, the American taxpayer and on behalf of the young women that it purports to serve.”

“Planned Parenthood receives 46 percent of its budget from taxpayers,” Dannenfelser later added. “Taxpayers spend over $1 million a day on this non-profit entity, which reports over $1 billion in net assets. No organization is entitled to taxpayer funds, especially one mired in controversy and under investigation. An organization which receives such largess from taxpayers deserves scrutiny.”

With regards to the political pressure Planned Parenthood exerted on the Komen group, Dannenfelser said, “Their current posture of entitlement is that of a spoiled teenager, not a mature non-profit committed to programs with integrity.”

“What Planned Parenthood did to that venerable and honorable organization is nothing less than a Mafia-style shakedown,” Aden said.

A Planned Parenthood spokesperson did not comment on the report after contacted the organization by phone and e-mail.

The 2004 audit by the California Health and Human Services Agency found that Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties did not comply with billing requirements from February 2003 through May 2004. It found the state made $5.2 million in excess payments to Planned Parenthood.

The New York State Office of Medicaid Inspector General found in June 2009 overpayments of $12,173 to Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc. Another audit in May 2010 found $112,490 in overpayments to Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc.

A New York audit in February 2010 found the $12,031 in overpayments to Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, Inc. A January 2009 audit found $207,809 in Medicaid overpayments to Planned Parenthood of New York City.

An audit of Planned Parenthood of New York City/Margaret Sanger Center found at least $1.2 million in Medicaid overpayments. Another New York audit in December 2009 of PPNYC/Margaret Sanger Center found another $886.25 in overpayments.

Finally, a February 2010 audit of Planned Parenthood of South Central New York, Inc., found $11,539 in Medicaid overpayments.

A 2009 audit by the Texas Department of State Health Services found several instances of unpaid subcontractors. Subcontractors identified billings totaling $529,707.

The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services audit, conducted from 2007 to 2009, found numerous instances of overbilling totaling $629,142.

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