Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Appeal of: Northwestern Institute of Psychiatry, File No. 23-80-180.
Christopher F. Stouffer, with him, Jeffrey L. Pettit, Hepburn, Willcox, Hamilton & Putnam, for petitioner.
Bruce G. Baron, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry and Colins. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 214]
This is an appeal by Northwestern Institute of Psychiatry (Provider) from an order of the Executive Deputy Secretary*fn1 (Secretary) of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW). The appeal pertains to the denial by the Secretary of reimbursement of certain costs associated with patient services under Pennsylvania's Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Program, Section 443.1 of the Public Welfare Code, Act of June 13, 1967, P.L. 31, as amended, added by Section 5 of the Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 904, as amended, 62 P.S. § 443.1.
Initially, the Auditor General denied Provider reimbursement and it appealed. A DPW hearing attorney was designated to take testimony. The hearing attorney issued proposed findings of fact and an accompanying recommendation the substance of which can be summarized as follows:
[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 2151]
. Costs for operation of a snack bar which services patients and visitors should be allowed.
2. Costs for operation of a barber/beauty shop should be allowed.
3. Costs for employee group activities in the form of a Christmas party, a softball league, and a fall festival should be allowed.
4. Costs of depreciation for the Director of the Institute's automobile should be denied.
The hearing attorney's recommendations were then forwarded to the Acting Director of the Office of Hearing and Appeals (Director) who adopted the recommendation of the hearing attorney with respect to the snack bar, barber/beauty shop, and automobile issues but rejected his recommendation with respect to the employee group activity issue finding that the activities were social in nature rather ...