It's no deep dark secret that Scott Walker will pander to any special interest group that might support him, including the right to life groups. Hence, Walker will do whatever he can do - whether or not it's legal or ethical - to prevent women from getting basic health care and to have the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies.
He already had one of his schemes broken up when it turned out that his attempt to limit women's access to family-planning clinics was found to be unconstitutional.
Now, he's been found to have his hand in the money till of these clinics, falsely accusing them of overbilling for their services. That amount was found to be off by at least 93%:
Last August, a Wisconsin state agency told two family-planning organizations that they owed a total of $3.5 million because they had overbilled Medicaid programs for prescription drugs and certain services.
Last week, the agency — the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health Services — lowered the amount by more than $3.2 million.
The two family-planning organizations — NEWCAP Community Health Services and Family Planning Health Services — were told of the change in letters from Alan White, the inspector general. Yet the letters raise more questions than they answer, not the least being how the state could have been off by 93% — and maybe more, given that at least one of the organizations plans to challenge the remaining claims.
The dispute stemmed largely from conflicting interpretations of how the state reimburses family-planning clinics for contraceptives.
The state contended the clinics — which can buy the drugs at a discount under a federal program — should bill Medicaid for the actual purchase price plus a dispensing fee.
The clinics countered that they were billing the state properly under published rates that allowed a markup to offset operating costs.
"You don't get to dictate to Medicaid or the state what they pay you," said Jennifer Waloway, a nurse practitioner and director of community health services for NEWCAP Community Health Services in Oconto.
The organization, which runs clinics in six counties in northeastern Wisconsin, initially was told that it owed the state $1,169,837.10, based on audits conducted for 2010 and 2011. That is slightly less than its annual revenue of $1.2 million.
The Office of Inspector General now contends NEWCAP owes $185,074.80, which the organization still plans to challenge.
Family Planning Health Services, which operates 11 clinics in north-central Wisconsin, was told initially it owed $2,324,750.73.
That's been reduced to $44,706.83.
Other organizations that provide reproductive health services in the state also have contended that they were paid for contraceptives and other prescription drugs at a rate agreed upon and set by the Department of Health Services in 2009.
"This isn't just us," Waloway said. "This is the whole family-planning network."
Walker backing off of his false claims have raised other questions which can only be explained as lying to cover up his malfeasance:
Although White reduced the amount the state is seeking to recover from the two organizations, the letter left numerous unanswered questions.
■White wrote that his office became aware from the clinics' response that "employees of this department had given verbal instructions to a small subset" of providers on billing for prescription drugs.
But Diane Welsh, a lawyer with von Briesen & Roper s.c., who represents the family-planning clinics, said the reimbursement rates were published and were consistent with what the clinics were paid.
In an email, the Department of Health Services disputed that.
But the department would not comment on why it would reduce the amount of the clinics' alleged overbilling on the basis of "verbal instructions" given five years earlier.
■White wrote that his office "discovered" a Medicaid update issued in February 2009 that set a new reimbursement rate for contraceptive pills dispensed by family planning clinics.
Waloway said her organization gave that update to the Office of Inspector General when it was doing the audit.
■White wrote that the update "created confusion for some family-planning clinics."
The clinics were reimbursed at a published rate, Welsh said. "How confusing is that?" she asked.
White's contention particularly irked Waloway.
"We are not confused," she said. "We are following instructions of DHS (the Department of Health Services). Every family clinic was billing the same way we are."
The article notes that a director of one of the clinics Walker tried to rip off and force into bankruptcy was miffed because they got no apology from Walker's administration. I would advise her, based on my professional and personal experience, that she not hold her breath waiting for Walker to do the right thing.