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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. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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