A Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, a women’s health care provider specialist, received an unexpected visit from health inspectors and investigators on Thursday.
Texas Health and Human Services Commission Visit Planned Parenthood
Health investigators with responsibility for the state of Texas attended Planned Parenthood locations in both Dallas and San Antonio, Houston. The visit is thought to have come without warning and the reasons for the dual visits were not immediately confirmed by authorities.
Medicaid Document Sought by Texas Officials
The Health and Human Services Commission in Texas were not at liberty to discuss the activities or investigations of the Office of Inspector General. However, information came to light suggesting that issues with Medicaid were the reason for the visit with the San Antonio Planned Parenthood office receiving demands for many thousands of patient-related documents connected to Medicaid.
There is an ongoing dispute between the federal government and Texas administrators over the blocking of Medicaid participants to have the right to choose which provider they wish to be treated by. For many women living on a low income in Texas, Planned Parenthood is their clinic of choice where they are provided with services ranging from screening for cancer to contraception plans.
Fetal Tissue Sold
Other issues relating to the role that various Planned Parenthood clinics, such as one in Omaha, Nebraska, have played recently include them selling fetal tissue for medical research purposes. It has been suggested that some Planned Parenthood clinics sold fetal tissue at a profit. This has been disputed by the said clinics who were caught on tape allegedly making the sale.
Planned Parenthood in Texas Cut-off Medicaid Based on Video Content
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHS) had confirmed previously that Planned Parenthood in Texas was being cut off Medicaid. This would essentially prevent the clinic from providing affordable health-care to the poorer women in the community.
The HHS noted that Planned Parenthood in Texas were alleged to have failed to provide adequate care and had possibly repeatedly breached good conduct guidelines based on videos captured at various times which indicated the said problems were substantial and ongoing.
Abortion Timing Changed?
What was particularly disturbing about the video content was that both the method and the timing of abortions carried out at Planned Parenthood of Texas seemed to have been adjusted to provide the most usable fetal tissue rather than being medical decisions made in the best interest of the Medicaid enrollee.
Texas State Letter Outlines Most Egregious Conduct by Planned Parenthood
In the letter sent to Planned Parenthood from the Texas state, they pointed out that the clinic did not have adequate measures in place to avoid infectious diseases being spread around between employees, patients and subsequently, members of the public.
The HHS believes that they have a solid case for fraud. Previous cases such as Reynolds vs. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast resulted in an out-of-court settlement amounting to $4.3 million.
In a closing note, the Texas state pointed out to Planned Parenthood that their Medicaid termination did not prevent women from seeking alternative Medicaid providers in the state that were already part of the Texas Women’s Health Program which includes continued Medicaid support.