- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State Department of Health Services officials said Wednesday that they’ve determined Medicaid overpaid eight family planning clinics in 2014.

The agency issued a news release saying the agency’s inspector general’s office notified the clinics of an audit in October 2015 and visited the clinics the following month to collect documents.

The audit found a number of discrepancies, including prescriptions not signed by a valid prescriber, quantities billed not matching prescription quantities and reimbursements in excess of what is allowed. Out of a sample of $131,543 in Medicaid payments, $63,813 was overpayments.

DHS is looking to recover the overpayments.

The clinics included Planned Parenthood facilities in Appleton, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee. Planned Parenthood attorney Diane Welsh said in a statement that an administrative law judge will review the findings and that the organization was surprised because DHS’ inspector general’s office never notified it that the audit was complete.

“(The timing) calls into question both the integrity of (the inspector general’s) process and its motives in presenting a final conclusion without notifying us, the audit targets,” she said.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration controls DHS. The agency released the audit findings on the same day that word broke Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a motion in federal court seeking nearly $1.8 million in attorneys’ fees from the state.

The fees stem from a lawsuit the groups brought challenging a GOP law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the requirement in November 2015. State attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider but the high court refused in June after striking down a similar Texas law.

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