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State responsible for costs in relocating Medicaid patients

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Indiana Family and Social Services must reimburse an Arcadia, Ind., long-term care facility for the costs the facility paid in caring for Medicaid patients after FSSA ended its provider agreement based on the conditions at the facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

In Randall Woodruff, trustee, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, on behalf of Legacy Healthcare Inc. v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, No. 29A02-1002-PL-220, Legacy Healthcare Inc. operated New Horizon Development Center, an intermediate care facility for the mentally disabled from November 1993 to November 2000. It was certified and licensed, and was able to receive funds from FSSA to operate its facility until September 1999 when the FSSA terminated its provider contract after discovering poor conditions and care at the facility. New Horizon didn’t appeal, and continued to operate the facility for another year without a Medicaid provider agreement and to bill FSSA for its services. Eventually the facility went into bankruptcy and receivership, and all the patients were transferred by December 2001.

At issue is who is responsible for the costs New Horizon paid after its agreement was ended and before it went into receivership. The trial court ruled New Horizon was responsible for the nearly $4 million in costs.

But it was the FSSA’s responsibility as the state Medicaid agency to transfer the residents and ensure their safety once the agreement was terminated, and so that agency should bear the costs, the Court of Appeals concluded. The judges cited the State Operations Manual prepared by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support their ruling.

Once the provider agreement was involuntarily terminated, the FSSA neither accepted primary responsibility for relocating the residents nor paid for their care, wrote Judge Nancy Vaidik. The judges rejected the agency’s argument that it couldn’t legally reimburse New Horizon for the care of the Medicaid recipients because the facility was decertified.

“Although there is evidence that FSSA took some initial steps to transfer the Medicaid patients from New Horizon once New Horizon’s provider agreement was terminated, the bottom line is that FSSA left them at New Horizon and let New Horizon pay for them until New Horizon ran out of money, thereby necessitating the appointment of a receiver,” she wrote.

The judge noted it may sound attractive for New Horizon to pay the nearly $4 million because the facility allowed the care of the patients to deteriorate to the point that its contract was terminated, but FSSA’s responsibility to transfer the patients is triggered when the provider agreement is either voluntarily or involuntarily terminated.

The appellate court ordered summary judgment be entered in favor of New Horizon on its quantum meruit claim in the amount of $3.96 million. The judges also reversed the trial court in allowing FSSA to set off the nearly $1 million it owed to New Horizon for breach of contract against the costs FSSA incurred in operating the receivership.

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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