According to a new report examining audits of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates in multiple states, the nation’s largest abortion provider and locations which work with it have cost taxpayers at least $12.8 million in fraud.
“The extent of waste and abuse in the nation’s family planning programs, and specifically in those operated by Planned Parenthood, is beyond disturbing,” Chuck Donovan, president of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), declared in a statement announcing the report.
“Our updated report to Congress documents data from over 50 public audits that point to massive fraud, waste, and abuse by this billion-dollar abortion giant,” declared Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “In light of the now-established fact that nearly one in four Planned Parenthood businesses has been implicated in financial fraud or mismanagement, Congress has an opportunity—and obligation—to protect taxpayers.”
Aden called on Congress to do “what the House of Representatives has twice voted to do: end taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s most profitable abortionist, once and for all.”
According to the report, entitled “Profit. No Matter What,” written by CLI Senior Fellow Catherine Glenn Foster, audits revealed that Planned Parenthood affiliates have cost at least $12.8 million in waste, abuse, and potentially fraudulent over billing and penalties. Audits specific to Planned Parenthood facilities have uncovered $8.5 million in waste, abuse, and potential fraud, in the form of Title XIX-Medicaid overpayments.
Planned Parenthood has 59 independent local affiliates which operate approximately 700 centers across the country. The organization receives roughly $360 million in federal assistance annually through Medicaid, Maternal, and Child Health block grants.
This report analyzed 51 known external audits and other reviews of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ financial data and practices across the country: two in California, one in Connecticut, one in Illinois, two in Louisiana, one in Maine, one in Nebraska, seven in New York state, one in Ohio, three in Oklahoma, two in Texas, three in Washington state, and 27 in Wisconsin. Nearly all of the audits have found over billing.
Unfortunately, this represents the entirety of Planned Parenthood audits publicly available between 1995 and 2014, Foster told PJ Media in an email statement. No audits covered a period after the implementation of Obamacare, which included a hefty Medicaid expansion, which likely increased the amount of money (and potential fraud) granted to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.
Of the 42 audits of Planned Parenthood for which dates covered are actually known, as much as $5.2 million was overbilled in one audited year in a single audit. The average amount overbilled per audited year in a single audit was more than $94,000.
Analyzing all federal audits of state family planning programs, Foster reported finding $123.8 million in waste, abuse, and potential fraud. Unfortunately, she could not discover exactly what portion of this massive amount was due to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.
Nevertheless, three federal audits point to Planned Parenthood, and not any other organization, as the problem in state family planning over billing.
Because the available information is so limited, the report recommends that Congress should expand auditing efforts involving Planned Parenthood.
Specifically, Congress should “continue and complete investigations into PPFA and its affiliates’ and other abortion businesses’ use of federal funding and compliance with federal abortion funding limits.” It also recommended Congress “investigate whether Planned Parenthood is double-dipping by billing Medicaid (and thus federal taxpayers) for services that other entities and individuals are already paying it to provide.”
The report also encouraged lawmakers to “empower auditors and state Medicaid Fraud Control Unites (MFCUs) to investigate, prosecute, and recover overbilling by PPFA, its affiliates, and other family planning businesses.”
“This report joins earlier findings on issues of human trafficking, failure to report statutory rape, alleged violations of fetal organ trafficking laws, and other profound concerns that reinforce the need for Congress to reallocate funds to agencies that respect human life and put women first,” Donovan, CLI’s president, concluded.
Whether or not Congress should defund Planned Parenthood, it appears clear that the organization and its affiliates cost the American people a great deal in potential fraud. Furthermore, all these findings come from a very limited amount of investigation. If a few audits spread over a 20-year period found Planned Parenthood and its affiliates cost American taxpayers over $12 million, how much overbilling would a faithful, year-by-year auditing system reveal?
Perhaps the American people should find out.
*This article has been updated. The original version added the $12.8 million in waste, abuse, and fraud found among both Planned Parenthood and its affiliates with the $8.5 million specifically from Planned Parenthood itself, under the impression that the $12.8 million number was only from Planned Parenthood affiliates.