On Friday the Wisconsin State Senate, in concurrence with the State Assembly, passed a biennial budget bill that includes a provision requiring the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health Services (DHS) to conduct a comprehensive audit of all Medicaid family planning payments to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other Wisconsin family planning providers from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2016.

Pro-Life Wisconsin thanks State Representative André Jacque, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and Assembly and Senate Republicans for exercising their fiscal responsibility in holding Planned Parenthood and other Medicaid family planning providers accountable for their past fraudulent billing practices. The comprehensive audit will uncover the actual extent of recent Medicaid overpayments, allowing full recoupment for state taxpayers.

Wisconsin family planning providers, especially Planned Parenthood, must be held accountable for their expenditure of taxpayer dollars through comprehensive audits of their entire facility networks. It is bad enough that family planning funds fuel surgical and chemical abortions in our state. It is intolerable that Wisconsin taxpayers are ripped off in the process.

In 2012, Pro-Life Wisconsin working with Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys conducted an open records request of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The findings revealed 26 Wisconsin DHS audits uncovering $43,000 in Medicaid overbilling by Planned Parenthood from 2006 to 2012.

In 2016, the DHS released another audit finding that five Planned Parenthood facilities overbilled Wisconsin’s Medicaid program $52,193 collectively in 2014 alone. Three non-Planned Parenthood family planning facilities overbilled Medicaid by a total of $11,619. Alarmingly, the overpayments were nearly 50 percent of the audited Medicaid payments to the eight clinics.

With this sampling, we can reasonably suspect widespread fraud across Wisconsin’s Medicaid family planning program. Our state budget is tighter than ever and resources must be allocated prudently and fairly. There is simply no room for any organization, public or private, to abuse state funding – the people’s money.

The budget provision requires proceeds from overpayments or incorrect payments resulting from the audit to be expended on various state budget items in the 2019-2021 biennium, including DHS fraud and error investigation and reduction efforts, public health aids, community aids, grants for community programs, and treatment services for child victims of sex trafficking.

Matt Sande is the Legislative Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin.
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