Statement issued Monday:
(Indianapolis) – Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) told staff members this morning that it is making some difficult decisions in the event that U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt doesn’t rule on a request for a preliminary injunction by the close of business today. As the organization stated in an earlier hearing, it will run out of donations to cover the costs of caring for existing Medicaid patients after today. The state’s largest reproductive health care provider has been using private donations to pay for direct patient care for existing Medicaid patients since May 11, the day after Governor Daniels signed HEA 1210 into law, which stripped Medicaid funding from PPIN.
PPIN announces the following actions will happen if Judge Pratt doesn’t issue a favorable ruling today:
• The organization will stop seeing Medicaid patients at close of business Monday unless they are able to pay or can use other resources.
• Two Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) will be laid off in Muncie, effective June 21, until further notice.
• On Wednesday, June 22, most employees will be on furlough (a day off without pay). All health centers, with the exception of the Indianapolis-Georgetown facility, will be closed. The Georgetown center will be closed Thursday and its employees will be on furlough that day.
“The one-day furlough should allow us to save enough money to keep our doors open during this brief window between now and the expected ruling by July 1,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “We know this is a personal hardship for our employees and our patients, and we had so hoped to avoid it. It is, however, in the best interest of our mission and will allow us to avoid center closures and additional temporary reductions in staff until we get a ruling. We send our apologies to our patients and to our staff. We remain confident we have a strong case.
“We were forced to make these tough decisions when the State of Indiana was granted an additional seven days on Friday to respond to a brief filed in the case by the U.S. Department of Justice,” Cockrum added. “The state’s request is putting an undue burden on women by causing further delays. Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted. We hope the state understands the position it is putting patients in and does not take the entire seven days to file its brief.”
Should PPIN fail to be given a favorable ruling by July 1, it will begin to close health centers and reduce staffing in short order. The interim measures shared here are the least harmful to our patients and our staff, but they in no way begin to address the long-term impact to the organization if our Medicaid provider status is not restored by July 1.