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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (11/18/77)

decided: November 18, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE
v.
THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE V. THE HOSPITAL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT



Appeals from Decisions of the Department of Public Welfare in cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare v. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare v. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

Alan Rosenberg, with him Tabas, Horwitz & Furlong, for appellants.

Robert B. Hoffman, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 459]

This matter is before us on the motion of appellee Department of Public Welfare (Department) to quash appellants' consolidated appeals, which seek our review

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 460]

    of the action taken by the Department, as expressed in a letter to appellants from a Department staff attorney, declining to review a determination of the Philadelphia County Board of Assistance (Board) that 15 patients treated by appellants were not eligible for medical assistance. We grant the Department's motion.

Appellants, participants in the medical assistance program, provided hospital care to the 15 individuals for periods up to five weeks between April 1974 and April 1975. In January and February 1976, appellants wrote to the Department requesting "written explanations" and "definitive reviews" of the Board's determinations that the 15 were ineligible for medical assistance. On April 12, 1976, a staff attorney replied that since none of the individuals had appealed within 30 days of the Board's determination as to his or her claim, he "did not feel that our Department can undertake to discuss these cases at this time with consideration to possibly changing the original determination." Appellants' appeal and the Department's motion followed.

Appellants acknowledge that appellee's Medical Assistance Regulations afford them no formal right of appeal but contend that such a right exists on other grounds. They argue that the right of appeal is provided by Article Five, Section Nine of our state constitution, and that the legislation necessary to implement the constitutional provision is found in Section 403(1) of the Appellate Court Jurisdiction Act of 1970, Act of July 31, 1970, P.L. 673, as amended, 17 P.S. § 211.403(1). We have, however, repeatedly rejected similar arguments. E.g., Newport Homes, Inc. v. Kassab, 17 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 317, 332 A.2d 568 (1975).

Appellants further contend that they enjoy a right of appeal under Section 41 of the Administrative

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 461]

Agency Law (Law), Act of June 4, 1945, P.L. 1388, as amended, 71 P.S. § 1710.41.*fn1 By its express language, the applicability of that provision is dependent upon the existence of an "adjudication," as defined in Section 2(a) of the Law, 71 P.S. § 1710.2(a). In our recent case of Roberts v. Office of Administration, 30 Pa. ...


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