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COMMUNITY SERVICES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/19/84)

decided: October 19, 1984.

COMMUNITY SERVICES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, D/B/A OPTIONS, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of: Community Services Management Corporation, File No. 18-82-1.

COUNSEL

John R. Kennel, II, Gibbel, Kraybill & Hess, for petitioner.

Thomas Brazusiak, with him, Howard Ulan, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 513]

The Community Services Management Corporation, d/b/a Options (petitioner) appeals here from an order of the Department of Public Welfare (Department) denying the petitioner's Request for Reconsideration and affirming the decision of the Department's Office of Hearings and Appeals. This decision had adopted the hearing officer's recommendation to dismiss the petitioner's appeal from the denial of a license for its partial hospitalization programs.

The petitioner is a proprietary corporation operating free standing partial hospitalization facilities*fn1 in Lancaster and Danville. Such facilities are subject to the licensing authority*fn2 of the Department pursuant to Sections 1001-1059 of the Public Welfare Code (Code), Act of June 13, 1967, P.L. 31, as amended, 62 P.S. §§ 1001-1059, and must also comply with the standards set forth in the regulations*fn3 promulgated

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 514]

    pursuant to the Code. In addition, the Department asserts that accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH)*fn4 is required under 55 Pa. Code § 8303, 11 Pa. B. 1033.

On October 11, 1981 and December 21, 1981, the petitioner received Statements of Deficiencies from the Department, citing the Lancaster and Danville facilities for lack of JCAH accreditation, and while the programs were found otherwise in compliance with Department standards, they received only provisional six month certificates.*fn5 The petitioner appealed this decision, and, on April 20, 1982, a hearing was conducted by a hearing examiner, who, on April 21, 1983, filed his decision recommending that the appeal be dismissed. This recommendation was adopted in its entirety by the Office of Hearings and Appeals on May 2, 1983, and, on May 24, 1983, the petitioner's Request for Reconsideration was denied by the Department. The instant appeal followed.

The petitioner contends that the JCAH accreditation requirement is invalid because its promulgation violated the notice provisions set forth in Section 1202 of the Commonwealth Documents Law (Law), Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 769, as amended, 45 P.S. § 1202, and further claims that it violates the petitioner's due process and equal protection rights.

Section 1202 of the Law provides that "[t]he agency text of any ...


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