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Planned Parenthood fined for overbilling

WASHINGTON (BP)–The state of Washington has ordered a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Spokane to reimburse about $700,000 for overbilling Medicaid.

The news is the latest in a series of events that have revealed unscrupulous and/or illegal practices in clinics of the country’s No. 1 abortion provider.

The report — released by the pro-life weblog Abortion in Washington (AIW) and based on an audit by the state’s Department of Social and Health Services — showed Planned Parenthood of Inland Washington billed Medicaid for oral contraceptives without prescriptions or with invalid ones; overbilled for condoms; billed Medicaid for post-abortion antibiotics under family planning, which is banned; billed office visits to receive a prescription or an injection as a consultation with a physician, which costs more; and billed for pregnancy tests on women when they were unnecessary.

Planned Parenthood was told to pay back $630,000 plus interest, according to the Aug. 9 AIW report.

The audit of Planned Parenthood, which occurred from 2004 to 2007, was reported by the Spokane Spokesman-Review in May.

Planned Parenthood affiliates performed more than 305,000 abortions in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the national organization, received more than $349 million in government grants and contracts during the financial year of July 2007 to June 2008. The organization’s total revenue was $1.04 billion during that time period.

Planned Parenthood has been the target of an undercover investigation during the last year that has shown staff members circumventing the law. Employees at seven PPFA affiliates in five states — Alabama, Arizona, California, Indiana and Tennessee — have been caught on video seeking to cover up alleged child sexual abuse. Lila Rose, a UCLA student, has led the hidden-camera operation by posing as a minor with an adult boyfriend by whom she is pregnant.

In a different undercover investigation by Live Action, the organization Rose leads, Planned Parenthood workers in seven states were caught on audio tape agreeing to receive donations designated for abortions of African American babies.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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