Job reclassification is upheld by COA

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The Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed Monday a lower court’s ruling involving the reclassification of a position at a nursing facility.

American Senior Communities submitted a Medicaid cost report that classified the nursing scheduler coordinator position as a direct care component for reimbursement.

ASC operates 78 nursing facilities, which all employ a nursing scheduler coordinator.

The Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning reclassified the position as an administrative component.

The OMPP administers the Medicaid program for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. It contracted with Myers & Stauffer LP to perform compliance reviews of facilities’ costs, then determined the position should be reclassified.

The difference between the two components was that they received different Medicaid reimbursement rates. The reclassification resulted in a reduction of about $3.3 million.

ASC requested reconsideration of the reclassification but was denied.

It then filed petitions for administrative review of the reclassification.

The administrative law judge granted ASC’s request to consolidate the two administrative appeals, and both ASC and OMPP filed summary judgment motions. The administrative law judge granted summary judgment in favor of OMPP.

ASC appealed and the administrative law judge stated that OMPP had a reasonable basis for the reclassification.

The order was upheld by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, which was affirmed by the Marion Superior Court. ASC petitioned for judicial review of FSSA’s final order pursuant to Indiana Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. After a hearing, the trial court upheld FSSA’s order.

On appeal to the COA, ASC argued the reclassification of the nursing scheduler coordinator position from the direct care component to the administrative components was arbitrary and capricious.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana disagreed.

“Based upon the plain and ordinary meanings of the terms administrative services and nurse consulting services, ASC’s assertion is unavailing. Creating a staffing schedule and the other functions of the Nursing Scheduler Coordinator are commonly understood to be administrative duties performed by office and clerical staff.” Judge Terry Crone wrote. “We conclude that there is a reasonable basis for OMPP’s classification of ASC’s Nursing Scheduler Coordinator as an administrative component rather than a direct care component, and therefore the reclassification was not arbitrary and capricious.”

The case is American Senior Communities v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, 22A-PL-2556.

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