Fraud Case Unsealed
Special Report - July 12, 2012
On July 9, a federal lawsuit alleging that Planned Parenthood’s Iowa affiliate submitted “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid while failing to meet accepted medical practice standards was made public. The lawsuit, Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which was filed in March 2011 by a former Planned Parenthood clinic director against the abortion giant’s Iowa affiliate, was formally unsealed on Monday. Sue Thayer, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director who filed the suit, is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, formerly the Alliance Defense Fund).
Thayer’s case was filed “under both the federal and Iowa False Claims acts,” according to an ADF press release. She “alleges that Planned Parenthood knowingly committed Medicaid fraud from 2002 to 2009 by improperly seeking reimbursements from Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the Iowa Family Planning Network for products and services not legally reimbursable by those programs.” Specifically, the lawsuit “alleges that Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, an affiliate now known as Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, filed nearly one-half million false claims with Medicaid from which Planned Parenthood received and retained nearly $28 million.” Additionally, the lawsuit claims that, “Planned Parenthood both falsely billed Medicaid and took money from low-income women by getting them to pay for services Medicaid was intended to cover in full.” If the claims are found to be true, Planned Parenthood could owe the federal and Iowa governments as much as $5.5 billion in damages and penalties.
The case is the second such lawsuit to become public this year. The other case was also filed by ADF against a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Texas. Both cases were filed under federal “whistleblower” laws, which seek to protect employees or former employees with inside information that exposes fraudulent billing by government contractors. The law keeps such lawsuits sealed until a court makes them public, as was done by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa with this case on July 9.
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