8th Circuit hears Iowa Planned Parenthood fraud case
Attorney sound bite: Casey Mattox
WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 20, immediately following hearing which begins at 9 a.m. CDT
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, Roman L. Hruska Courthouse, 111 S. 18th Plaza, Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. — Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument in federal court Wednesday on behalf of a former Planned Parenthood facility director.
Susan Thayer filed suit against Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for fraud and abuse in 2011. After a district court judge dismissed the lawsuit in December of last year, Thayer appealed to the 8th Circuit.
“Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said Mattox. “No matter what views people have about abortion, everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should play by the same rules as everyone else.”
The lawsuit, Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, claims that Planned Parenthood’s Iowa affiliate submitted “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid. These included billing Medicaid for abortion-related services in violation of federal law, deceptively seeking partial payments from Medicaid patients but billing Medicaid for the full amount, billing Medicaid for contraceptives without any examination or even a proper prescription, and billing Medicaid for more expensive services than those provided.
Planned Parenthood argues, in part, that Thayer cannot proceed with her fraud claims against Planned Parenthood because she has not named the names of the women who have undergone abortions that were falsely billed to the government.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed the suit on behalf of Thayer under both a state and federal law that allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors. Alliance Defending Freedom has also filed similar lawsuits against Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas and Washington.
Thayer, former manager of Planned Parenthood’s Storm Lake and LeMars clinics, alleges that Planned Parenthood knowingly committed Medicaid fraud. She claims the abortion giant improperly sought reimbursements from Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the Iowa Family Planning Network for products and services not legally reimbursable by those programs.
Attorney J. Russell Hixson, one of nearly 2,300 attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, is assisting with the case.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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