NEW ORLEANS, July 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the wake of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's (PPGC) $1.4 million Medicaid fraud settlement with the state of Texas, two state pro-life organizations have called for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to end all state funding to PPGC.
The abortion provider operates two facilities in the state, which received $575,000 in taxpayer funds from the Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) during the 2012 fiscal year.
The Planned Parenthood affiliate agreed last Wednesday to refund Texas Medicaid $1.4 million in fraud for overbilling, billing for services it never rendered, and falsifying medical records to use state funds to pay for abortion-related care, according to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“Based on this serious abuse of taxpayer funds, we encourage the Jindal administration to immediately suspend Louisiana's contract with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast pending a thorough investigation as urged by the legislature,” said Benjamin Clapper, the executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, and Dorinda C. Bordlee, vice president of the Bioethics Defense Fund, in a joint statement.
Karen Reynolds, the whistleblower whose lawsuit led to the fraud settlement, said the fraudulent practices she documented took place during the full time she was employed there,"from October 1999 through February 2009, at all of PPGC’s clinics." That would include its offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
“We expect in the coming months and years even more evidence of PPGC's medicaid fraud to be made public,” said Clapper and Bordlee.
Louisiana DHH spokeswoman Olivia Watkins announced that investigators are probing PPGC's billing history but had not yet made any decision to withhold funds.
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Texas Attorney General Abbott's allegations do not encompass the charges levied by former director Abby Johnson of And Then There Were None. The former director of PPGC's facility in Bryan/College Station, Texas, said in her own separate lawsuit, which has not been settled, that PPGC instructed all offices to engage in similar tactics to maximize profits. Her legal complaint accused Planned Parenthood of 87,075 acts of fraud in Texas alone.
Meanwhile, PPGC has vowed to move forward with a $4.2 million, 7,000-square foot abortion facility in New Orleans “no matter what.”
“Louisiana does not need a company with a history of fraud and abuse setting up a regional abortion center in New Orleans in the name of 'women's health,'” Clapper and Bordlee stated.