Missouri Planned Parenthood no longer receiving Medicaid reimbursements

1 week 3 days 10 hours ago Wednesday, June 13 2018 Jun 13, 2018 Wednesday, June 13, 2018 10:04:00 AM CDT June 13, 2018 in News
By: Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - A state agency is enforcing a new state law that prohibits funding from going to any program that performs abortions.

The law means Missouri's Planned Parenthood affiliates will no longer receive Medicaid reimbursements.

On June 8, the Missouri Department of Social Services informed Planned Parenthood that any claims submitted after 5:00 p.m. that day would be suspended.

In the letter sent to Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, the director of the Missouri Medicaid Audit & Compliance division cited House Bill 2011, passed during the 2018 legislative session. 

The bill suspends funding for "any program that performs abortions or that counsels women to have an abortion other than the exceptions required by federal law."

According to the Planned Parenthood website, most of its "federal funding is from Medicaid reimbursements for preventive care, and some is from Title X."

Lead Clinician at Planned Parenthood Great Plains Kristin Metcalf-Wilson said they are reimbursed like any other provider in the state. 

"The reimbursement would come because we are part of the group of providers that are privileged to provide Medicaid services with the reimbursement of the state for whatever services were rendered," Metcalf-Wilson said.

She said the reimbursements being cut off would have an impact on the people they serve in Missouri. 

"Our concern is that the thousands of men, women and young people that we serve would no longer have access to their current health provider," Metcalf-Wilson said. "Or have a choice to choose us, should we be the expert provider that they'd like to see."

She said those who will no longer be able to use their services would need to look for a different Medicaid provider, which she said could take several months.

"We are currently investigating every option and resource we have available to continue to see those patients," Metcalf-Wilson said. 

Sidewalk Advocate for Life Kathy Forck said her role is to help those leaving Planned Parenthood find the care they need.

"I think that we are doing a service to the community by telling them where they can get better care," Forck said. "A lot of it for free."

She said taking away the Medicaid reimbursements will show the current patients at Planned Parenthood that there are other options.

"I think what will happens is, as people see that they can go to federally qualified health care centers, and receive better care, that the clientele at Planned parenthood will decline," Forck said. "So, that just means we will have less people to give the message to."

She said one way for women to find different options is through the Get Your Care website, a tool to help women find health care. 

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