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LUZERNE COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/31/81)

decided: December 31, 1981.

LUZERNE COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ET AL., RESPONDENTS



Original jurisdiction in the case of Luzerne County Medical Society v. Department of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, H. Arnold Muller, M.D., Secretary of Health and The Geisinger Medical Center.

COUNSEL

Ralph E. Kates, III, with him Brian P. Dempsey, Griffith, Aponick & Musto, and Rod J. Pera and H. Lee Roussel, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for petitioners.

Julia E. Gabis, Assistant Counsel, with her Reed Hamilton, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Fred T. Magaziner, with him William H. Lowery, William A. Humenuk, and Kathryn Delanty Portner, Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for respondent, Geisinger Medical Center.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Mencer, Craig, MacPhail and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 568]

The Luzerne County Medical Society (Luzerne) has filed a petition for review, directed to our original jurisdiction, in the nature of an action in mandamus. Named as respondents are the Pennsylvania Department of Health (Department), the Secretary of the Department, Arnold Muller (Secretary), and the Geisinger Medical Center (Geisinger), the owner and operator of several health care facilities in Pennsylvania. In this action, Luzerne seeks an order from this Court which would direct the Secretary to inform the United States Department of Health and Human Services (1) that Geisinger has recently made several

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 569]

"capital expenditures" within the intendment of Section 1122(g)*fn1 of the Social Security Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. ยง 1320a-1(g), and (2) that Geisinger did not provide the Department with sixty days prior notice of its intent to incur these capital expenditures. In response to this action, Geisinger has filed preliminary objections (1) questioning this Court's jurisdiction over the present matter on the basis that Luzerne has failed to exhaust administrative remedies, (2) challenging Luzerne's standing to bring this action, and (3) alleging that Luzerne has failed to state a cause of action upon which a writ of mandamus can be issued. Since we agree with Geisinger's assertion that Luzerne has failed to pursue available administrative remedies, we will dismiss Luzerne's petition for review.

"Well-settled case law of this Court precludes a party challenging administrative decision making from obtaining judicial review, by mandamus or otherwise, without first exhausting administrative remedies." Canonsburg General Hospital v. Department of Health, 492 Pa. 68, 73, 422 A.2d 141, 144 (1980); Delaware Valley Convalescent Center v. Beal, 488 Pa. 292, 412 A.2d 514 (1980).

In the present case, Luzerne avers that Geisinger recently made acquisitions and expenditures which amounted to capital expenditures under the Act, that Geisinger never notified the Department of these expenditures, that the Secretary knew of these capital expenditures, and that the Secretary violated Section

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 5701122]

of the Act by failing to report these expenditures, and Geisinger's failure to report them, to the United States ...


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