Appeal from the Order of the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, in the case of Appeal of: Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania, File Nos. 23-81-78 and 23-81-290.
Patrick J. Mellody, Beemer, Rinaldi, Fendrick & Mellody, P.C., for petitioner.
Jeffrey Gonick, Assistant Counsel, for respondents.
Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 637]
The Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania (Petitioner) appeals from an order of the Office of Hearings and Appeals (Office) of the Department of Public
[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 638]
Welfare (Department). The recommendation of an Attorney Examiner which advocated the dismissal of Petitioner's appeal was adopted in its entirety by the Office. For the reasons which follow, we affirm.
Petitioner's appeal stems from a 1979 Department decision to adjust the useful life of Petitioner's two-floor facility addition from thirty years to forty years. The addition was constructed in 1976 and augmented Petitioner's existing three-story structure resulting in a five-story building.
The 1976 addition is a masonry and steel framed, fire-resistant structure. Although Petitioner claimed a thirty year useful life for the addition on each cost report since 1976, the Department failed to adjust this figure until 1978, which subsequently was reflected in a reduced depreciation allowance for the years ending December 31, 1979 and December 31, 1980.
Thus, we must decide whether the Department properly adjusted the useful life of Petitioner's two-story addition from thirty years to forty years. Our scope of review in a Department decision is limited to determining whether the adjudication is supported by substantial evidence and is in accordance with the law, and whether any constitutional rights were violated. Boyce v. Department of Public Welfare, 57 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 415, 426 A.2d 241 (1981).
In his recommendation the Attorney Examiner quotes from a Department manual entitled Manual For Allowable Cost Reimbursement For Skilled Nursing and ...