Whistle-blower charges Planned Parenthood with repeated Medicaid fraud

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Sue Thayer, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

A former Planned Parenthood clinic manager has alleged that her previous place of employment committed multiple counts of Medicaid fraud at the federal and state level.

“People may hold different views about abortion, but everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should play by the same rules as everyone else,” said attorney Michael Norton of the Alliance Defending Freedom.

In a lawsuit filed by Sue Thayer, a former clinic manager in Iowa, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been accused of nearly half a million false claims involving Medicaid as well as failure to meet acceptable standards of medical practice.

“Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” Norton said of the case, which was filed in March of 2011 but made public on July 6.

The lawsuit charges that from from 2002 to 2009, Planned Parenthood knowingly over-collected on Medicaid reimbursements and received re-payment on products and services not covered under state law.

In one such instance, the suit explained, Planned Parenthood created a program that would automatically mail one-year's supply of birth control to clients regardless of whether or not the client requested the pills or had been examined by a qualified medical professional.

Planned Parenthood then collected reimbursement in the sum of $26.32 for the supply of birth control that cost the clinic only $2.98.

Norton said he believes that Planned Parenthood should not be allowed to receive any public funds, “especially if it is defrauding Medicaid and the American taxpayer.”

Should Thayer win the case, Planned Parenthood could be ordered to pay up to $5.5 billion in False Claims Act damages and penalties to both the United States and Iowa.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, represented Abby Johnson in a similar case when she left her position as the director of Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood clinic.

Thayer's case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

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