Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Planned Parenthood Staffer Claims PP Cheated the Government
Jessica Cooley, a reporter for the The Lufkin (Texas) News has the scoop.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is a defendant in a federal lawsuit after a former Lufkin clinic employee alleged a multi-million-dollar billing scheme.
The complaint names Karen Reynolds as the whistle-blower in the allegations brought against her former employer of 10 years.
The updated complaint, filed in October 2011, alleges that while Reynolds was employed as a health center assistant, she was instructed by the organization to maximize billing revenue when the government was fitting the bill through Medicaid and the Women’s Health Program.
She claims this was the procedure in all 12 Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast locations across Texas and Louisiana.
The suit alleges that, in addition to falsifying patient records, billing the government for unwarranted services and services not covered by Medicaid, Planned Parenthood tacked on services patient did not receive.
An example given in the suit is Medicaid being billed for birth control counseling. The suit states almost all Women’s Health Program and Medicaid patients were handed a bag of at least two birth control devices despite the fact the items were not needed or requested by the patient.
“Pursuant to corporate policy and instructions from clinical directors, after merely handing the patient a bag of condoms and vaginal film on the way out the door, clinic employees then entered billing codes to be submitted to the government” at an average billed cost of $57.85.
If Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast loses the case set for trial in April 2013, Reynolds, the federal government and the state of Texas will be owed a sum of money by the corporation known for family planning and women’s health issues.
Reynold’s attorney Mike Love said the case is in its early stage. While he said he was reluctant to comment on the case due to its magnitude, Love said on the behalf of his client, “if an entity is not billing properly, it doesn’t matter if it’s Planned Parenthood, a large hospital facility or a local doctor’s office — fraud is fraud.”