A lawmaker in Wisconsin has introduced two bills that could eliminate at least half of the funding Planned Parenthood gets in the state.
Rep. Andre Jacque is co-sponsoring legislation that will require family planning clinics, most notably Planned Parenthood, to bill Medicaid at the actual acquisition cost when they acquire drugs at the heavily discounted rates available through the Medicaid 340B program.
Jacque contends that providers like Planned Parenthood, which gets over half a billion in taxpayer monies annually, are inflating rates, sometimes “eight times” the actual cost.
The bill would limit providers to a “reasonable” dispensing fee, which Jacque estimates would reduce funding by about $4.5 million.
“This change will bring Wisconsin in line with the majority of other states and save millions of taxpayer dollars,” he said.
“This bill simply directs Medicaid 340B-covered entities to charge back to Medicaid/taxpayers the actual acquisition cost of pharmaceuticals they purchase through the program, plus the dispensing fee allowed through the Wisconsin Medicaid program. Many Wisconsin 340B program participants are already following this practice.“
The 340B Drug Discount Program is a federal government program created in 1992 that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities at bargain basement prices.
Wisconsin is one of the most “generous” states in the country in terms of its relatively high allowed Medicaid reimbursement rate with state and federal taxpayer dollars for family planning providers through the 340B Program.
The Republican lawmaker, who also authored a bill that would prohibit the sale and use of aborted human fetal body parts, cites recent Department of Health Services examples of how the Medicaid billing practices have been abused:
“in reviewing audits of 340B providers with 2010 dates of service, the OIG found discrepancies in how 340B providers billed for Ortho-Cyclen. One hospital-based 340B pharmacy billed Wisconsin Medicaid $15 for 84 tablets and the provider was reimbursed $15. A 340B family planning clinic provider billed Wisconsin Medicaid $95 for 84 tablets on the same date of service and was reimbursed $54.23. The ingredient.costs ascertained from the invoices reviewed from both providers were nearly identical at $12.20 and $12.03 respectively.” In other words, without this legislation, 340B program participants will remain free to charge taxpayers for a drug at a rate many, many times more what it cost them to acquire it.”
“Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has publicly claimed that eliminating their overbilling of taxpayers for drugs acquired through the 340B program would result in a $4.5 Million annual reduction in their subsidy by taxpayers,” Rep. Jacque claims.
The legislation follows a request submitted by 28 Wisconsin State Representatives and 4 State Senators in January calling for an investigation into family planning centers and Planned Parenthood centers in the state.
The letter details what it calls “red flags” with providers pointing out that several other states report, “similar findings with Planned Parenthood and other Medicaid family planning providers.”
“It is peculiar and deeply troubling,” lawmakers write, “that any large recipient of taxpayer dollars would pre-emptively divulge that they are guilty of massively defrauding the government and actively in violation with their billing practices, with no plans to change or reimburse taxpayers–and yet that is precisely what Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is admitting to.”
Recently a HRSA audit conducted on Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, revealed “Duplicate discounts” in the 340B Medicaid program.
Earlier this year, Wisconsin Representative Sean Duffy introduced a bill into the U.S. House which would stop abortion providers from “unbundling” abortion services so they can submit separate claims to Medicaid.
“All too often, abortion providers – such as Planned Parenthood – are able to line their pockets with taxpayer funds by using a complex billing system and taking advantage of programs that rely on provider integrity for compliance,” Rep. Duffy pointed out at the time.
Wisconsin state representative Jacque told WRN that another one of the bills he is sponsoring would “reprioritize” about $3 million in federal grant money that Planned Parenthood received by having the state Department of Health Services apply for the funding.
“There are any number of better public health opportunities that we have, than Planned Parenthood,” he pointed out.
The bills seek to reduce $7.5 million in federal funding at Planned Parenthood facilities across the state.
A 2014 report conducted by Alliance Defending Freedom outlined abuse and potential fraud by Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country as well as other abortion providers, particularly with respect to federal and state Title XIX-Medicaid reimbursements.
The group analyzed publicly available audits which they say, “ strongly suggest that Planned Parenthood affiliates systematically take advantage of “overbilling” opportunities to maximize revenues in complex, well-funded federal and state programs that are understaffed and rely on the integrity of the provider for program compliance.“
They listed a few examples in their Profit No Matter What, report:
“At Planned Parenthood of Southwest Michigan (PPSWMI), a May 2010 audit revealed bank statements accumulated for up to six months before being reconciled, and personal expenses such as household bills being paid as company expenses.”
“In Vermont, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Action Fund agreed to pay a $30,000 fine to the Vermont Office of the Attorney General for failing to comply with political committee reporting requirements relating to $119,437 it spent in the 2010 gubernatorial election.”
“Planned Parenthood affiliates have also been fined or settled in cases involving wrongful death / medical malpractice, failure to report child sexual abuse and rape, and regulatory violations.”
Read that report here.
Nationally, Planned Parenthood has come under fire for the harvesting of aborted baby parts after the group, Center for Medical Progress published two videos of top Planned Parenthood officials bragging how they procure livers, hearts, lungs, and other organs from the children they abort.
It was recently made public that Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, seen in the undercover video above talking about where she will “crush” a little child in the womb to preserve specific organs, is a University of Wisconsin Madison graduate.
The University has been criticized for their promotion of fetal tissue research.