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AUDIO: Fallin Seeks End of Planned Parenthood Contracts

Think Progressive

Governor Mary Fallin wants the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to kill its contracts with Planned Parenthood over alleged billing errors.

Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said after national controversy earlier this year over Planned Parenthood funding, the governor directed OHCA to review the organization’s financial operations.

"They turned in a report which showed a pretty high rate of billing errors: 14 percent at one, 20 percent at the other," McNutt said. "So, the governor is now asking the board to consider terminating those contracts."

OHCA said it will terminate the contracts if an audit confirms its findings. Attorney Tamya Cox with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland called Fallin’s move "premature."

"Our No. 1 focus is really going through the findings, submitting the additional documentation to show we believe we submitted our claim rightfully," Cox said.

Cox said Fallin has taken them by surprise.

"Healthcare authority has always been one of our best relationships, and so this is very new to us so we are being as diligent as possible," Cox said.

Fallin also urged OHCA to end contracts with other providers with high error rates. McNutt said Fallin hasn’t asked for any other reviews, however.

"Now, whether the healthcare authority reviews those contracts on a regular basis ... you’d have to check with health care authority," McNutt said.

Planned Parenthood has six clinics in and around Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Over the past two years, Oklahoma has paid Planned Parenthood about $305,000 dollars.

Several states also are trying to cut off Planned Parenthood funding, citing undercover videos released by anti-abortion activists who say the footage shows Planned Parenthood officials talking about the illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit. Fallin didn't cite the videos in an announcement of her request OHCA terminate the contracts or in her letter to the authority's director.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.