money%202.jpgThe Los Angeles Times reported today a heretofore sealed and as yet undecided 2005 court case alleging CA Planned Parenthood fired P. Victor Gonzalez as vp of finance after alerting “illegal accounting, billing and donations practices” of contraceptives to bosses to the tune of $180 million:

The alleged over-billings began in the late 1990s and continued until the state Legislature changed the law in 2004 to allow Planned Parenthood to bill at a higher rate for oral contraceptives, said Gonzalez’s lawyer, Jack Schuler….

State health officials have said they do not believe Planned Parenthood acted improperly because the organization was given contradictory guidance on billing from the state….
“Contrary to their national reputation as a prominent charity organization and as a health care provider for reproductive services, there is probable cause to believe Planned Parenthood’s . . . California affiliates have systematically engaged in fraudulent overbilling against government funded programs,” the suit said….
The dispute involves the complicated and arcane reimbursement rules of public health programs run by the federal and state governments.
One federal program, in particular, allows health centers to buy common drugs from manufacturers at a reduced price. In return for the discount, the lawsuit says, such clinics must follow specific rules for seeking reimbursement….
Planned Parenthood, however, billed the government several times more than it paid for the drugs, the lawsuit alleges–seeking what is known as a “usual and customary” fee that takes into account the costs of storing the drugs and dispensing them….
[Q]uestions about Planned Parenthood’s billing practices were raised as early as 1997 by state Medi-Cal officials….
Schuler said his client intends to rely on internal Planned Parenthood communications showing that officials worked tirelessly to lobby state health officials to adopt the organization’s point of view and even halt the audits and change state rules to allow the higher charges. Those rules, in fact, were changed in 2004 to allow the higher reimbursement rate.
Despite their auditors’ findings, officials at the state Department of Health Care Services say they do not believe Planned Parenthood needs to repay any money already reimbursed by the state….
“This was not easy,” said [agency director Sandra] Shewry…. “We had not been the kind of business partner that the state needs to be.”

Pretty incredible stuff. The pro-abort CA legislature apparently helped PP out of a legal jam by changing the rules in PP’s favor, an example how they pay PP back for campaign contributions. Gonzalez faces an uphill battle fighting what we call here in IL a political combine – the legislature, state agencies, and PP, all in bed together.
Here’s how PP did it, using morning after pill pricing as an example.
A week or so ago I noted a sweetheart deal between Barr Laboratories and PP for PP to purchase MAP Plan B at a slashed rate, even undercutting pharmacies. I wasn’t home to post the email as evidence, which was garnered in an unrelated lawsuit by a disgruntled PP employee.
This is a snip from a confidential email by Vanessa Cullins, MD, PP’s VP of Medical Affairs, dated February 9, 2004. You can read the complete memo below. Click to enlarge:

So PP is today getting Plan B from Barr for $4.25-4.50. And here is what PP charges girls and women, a sample of pricing I got from various PPs tonight. Note a couple of them state they charge less than pharmacies:

So PP charges girls and women a 400-600% mark-up, and apparently it charges same to CA for low income clients.
PP didn’t sell MAPs at the time it is being alleged to have bilked. But rest assured PP gets similar sweetheart deals from contraceptive manufacturers and charges clients or the government similar mark-ups.
[HT: reader Andy]
Click to enlarge:

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