February 26, 2014 — There is no evidence that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed Medicaid or recommended abortions in Louisiana, according to a state legislative auditor's review, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.
Antiabortion-rights Louisiana legislators had called for more scrutiny of PPGC's operations in the state after the group faced allegations of improper Medicaid billing in Texas. In response to legislative resolutions, state Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office reviewed the group's practices with input from the state Department of Health and Hospitals and the state inspector general.
PPGC -- which provides services in Houston, Baton Rouge and New Orleans -- offers family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other preventive care at its Louisiana facilities. The group is building a 7,000-square-foot facility in New Orleans that will provide abortion services it currently does not offer.
Purpera's office reviewed claims data for all 25,936 Medicaid claims DHH paid to PPGC in 2012. The claims totaled $641,874 for 7,677 beneficiaries.
"Overall, we found that DHH made payments to Planned Parenthood for allowable family planning procedure codes under Medicaid," Purpera wrote in a letter to the sponsors of the legislative resolution. "In addition, we found no indication that Planned Parenthood had recommended that a patient have an abortion or had performed an abortion for the patients in our sample," he said. Auditors also reviewed the medical records of six of 22 patients who miscarried after being treated at Planned Parenthood. "Based on the file reviews, we did not find any indication that Planned Parenthood recommended an abortion or performed an abortion for these patients," Purpera wrote. Reaction
State Sen. Danny Martiny (R), a co-sponsor of the resolution, said he just wanted to ensure Medicaid funds were being spent "in the right place, especially after the allegations about Texas." PPGC spokesperson Jewel Bush said the group is pleased with the findings, adding, "We hope the legislature will focus their attention to the health care crisis facing Louisiana; and we remain focused on improving and expanding access to health care for women, men and families across Louisiana" (Shuler, Baton Rouge Advocate, 2/25).