Claim: Planned Parenthood Billed Medicaid for Abortion Services

A former Planned Parenthood employee told lawmakers Thursday that she had firsthand knowledge that the organization has billed the federal government for abortion-related ultrasounds and medications, in violation of federal law.

Susan Thayer, who spent 17 years working as a clinic manager for Planned Parenthood in Iowa, told lawmakers Thursday that the group had overbilled Medicaid by about $28 million, reasserting claims that have been the subject of a drawn-out court battle in Iowa.

“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 on Thursday.

Thayer was fired from Planned Parenthood in 2008 after making a series of claims related to billing and a practice known as “tele-abortions.” 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.

She also claimed Planned Parenthood was mishandling a teleconferencing system that allowed doctors to dispense abortion pills to women in rural areas.