Originally published October 8 2015
Planned Parenthood bills Medicaid for webcam abortions
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) Planned Parenthood has evoked controversy once again, but this time it's completely unrelated to trafficking aborted baby parts across state lines.
A whistleblower who worked as a clinic manager for Planned Parenthood in Iowa told lawmakers Thursday that she had "firsthand knowledge" that the "nonprofit" had "billed the federal government for abortion-related ultrasounds and medications, in violation of federal law," reports The Hill.
Planned Parenthood reportedly overbilled Medicaid by about $28 million, according to Susan Thayer, who worked for the organization for 17 years before she was fired in 2008 after filing complaints about the group's billing misconduct and objecting to Planned Parenthood's practice of performing "tele-abortions."
Tele-abortions, which are banned in 18 states due to safety reasons, involve the use of a computer operated by a physician at another location who remotely opens a "secure drawer" at a health center where an abortion-inducing drug is dispensed – a drug that can cause "hemorrhaging, bleeding, sepsis, even loss of future fertility," according to Mallory Quigley of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization.
Iowa was the first state in which Planned Parenthood started performing webcam abortions in 2008 – killing more than 7,000 babies this way since then.
The practice was threatened in 2013 when the Iowa Board of Medicine "passed standards that require physicians to perform a physical examination of the patient in person and to be with the patient when the abortion-inducing drug is taken," reports The Daily Signal.
Iowa Supreme Court: Requiring doctors to meet with patients prior to an abortion is "unconstitutional"Upset by their inability to perform webcam abortions, the nonprofit took the Iowa Board of Medicine to court, but the Iowa Supreme Court sided with Planned Parenthood, ruling 6–0 that the regulations were somehow "unconstitutional."
The board failed to file an appeal, leaving the decision withstanding.
Women undergoing tele-abortions never physically see a physician, a fact that Planned Parenthood downplays as being totally safe.
"The process for a traditional medication abortion and an abortion via telemedicine are exactly the same with the exception of the physical location of the physician," Angie Remington, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, told The Daily Signal.
Whistleblower had full access to Planned Parenthood's billing systemPlanned Parenthood justifies the abortions saying they assist women in "rural" areas, pretending to care about women's health and safety when, truthfully, they are really only concerned about their bottom line, says Thayer.
"Because I had access to the billing system for the whole affiliate, I also know that Planned Parenthood would bill Medicaid for abortion-related services — ultrasounds, office visits, blood tests, medications, and other services that were part of an abortion," Thayer told the House Judiciary Committee.
"In a formal complaint to the state in 2007, Thayer said the group filed false claims related to 'medically unnecessary' birth control pills and abortion-related services, in addition to counting some payments as 'donations' to allow clinics to still submit claims," reported The Hill.
Thayer also said Planned Parenthood was "mishandling" tele-abortions.
Claim: Planned Parenthood told patients who bled heavily after abortions they should go to ER and say they had miscarriages"Planned Parenthood cut costs to the bone by performing three abortions on a shoestring budget with little medical involvement," she said, as reported by The Hill.
Thayer claimed in her 2011 lawsuit against Planned Parenthood in Iowa that the "agency filed claims with Medicaid for birth-control pills that were inappropriately prescribed without examinations or that were not given to Planned Parenthood patients.
"She also contends the agency billed the government insurance program for more expensive services than actually were performed or for services that patients already paid for with donations," reported The Des Moines Register in August 2014.
"Thayer contended that Planned Parenthood staff members told patients who bled heavily after abortions that they she should go to hospital emergency rooms and say they had miscarriages.
"Thayer said the hospitals then would bill Medicaid for treating the women. She contended that was out of bounds, because federal law strictly limits payments for abortion-related costs."
You can learn more about her pending lawsuit here.
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