Planned Parenthood says its clinics serve almost 11,000 women in Texas each year through Medicaid.
Texas officials are pulling Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood, potentially affecting health services for an estimated 11,000 low-income patients the organization serves. The decision could also be overturned in court, as other states have been told in the past that they cannot legally deprive Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funding, 90 percent of which comes from the federal government.
Planned Parenthood officials say they serve almost 11,000 patients through Medicaid and will continue serving them as they fight the state's decision in federal court.
In a legal notice, the state removed funding from the organization that provides family planning and women's health services. But the threatened cutoff of taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood from Republicans in Congress has officials at the organization alarmed. But the state's threat initially appeared to be a feint.
The termination of Planned Parenthood's enrollment in Texas means, as set out in the OIG's letter, that Planned Parenthood's contract with the Texas Medicaid program is "nullified on the effective date of the termination".
The same justification was stated in a letter Tuesday that gave the organization final notice of removal from the Medicaid program. That order would have gone into effect 15 days after the organization received it. Texas officials warned at the time that a "final notice of termination" was impending. It also claimed that Planned Parenthood was guilty of billing fraud, although the authors failed to offer specifics.
The OIG said that the undercover video taken at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston "reveals numerous violations of generally accepted standards of medical practice".
"Your misconduct is directly related to whether you are qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner", Bowen wrote. Planned Parenthood has strongly denied the allegations announced in October that it will no longer accept reimbursement for the costs involved in providing fetal tissue to researchers.
She said there are plenty of women's health centers in Texas that do not perform abortions and receive low-income patients.
A spokesperson from the Office of the Inspector General did not immediately respond to requests for clarification Wednesday. And Abbott and other state officials have been largely silent on why the termination was delayed more than a year.
In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials moved to cut off Medicaid funding. At the time, it was thought that Planned Parenthood affiliates would be cut from the Medicaid program as early as December 8, 2015. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.