Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Quincy United Methodist Home, dated July 23, 1986.
Steven E. Bernstein, with him, Brian T. Corbett, Jeffrey B. Schwartz, Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, for petitioner.
Bruce G. Baron, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.
[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 231]
Petitioner, the Quincy United Methodist Home, (Quincy) has appealed from a denial by the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) of its petition to reopen its fiscal year 1981 cost report. Respondent (the DPW) has filed a motion to quash the appeal which, pursuant to order, was argued concurrently with the merits of the Quincy's petition.
[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 232]
Quincy is a nursing home which receives reimbursement from the DPW for certain costs incurred in providing long-term care to medical assistance recipients. At the end of each fiscal year, the facility is required to submit a cost report to the DPW in accordance with its regulations. These reports are subsequently audited by DPW auditors.
In Quincy's 1981 cost report, it reported certain trust income as an offset to the total interest on capital indebtedness expense it incurred that year. The DPW auditor did not change this entry, and entered an audit report from which Quincy did not appeal.
The following year, Quincy entered the transaction the same way in its cost report. The 1982 DPW auditor, however, determined that the trust income was considered exempt from offset under the DPW regulations. The auditor corrected Quincy's calculations, and the DPW issued an audit report to Quincy on May 10, 1984 which reflected this change. Quincy did not appeal the 1982 audit report.
In April of 1985, Quincy filed a petition with the DPW Secretary to reopen its 1981 cost report in order to correct the error with respect to offsetting the trust income, which, if allowed, would apparently entitle Quincy to approximately $34,000 more in medical assistance reimbursement for fiscal year 1981. The Secretary denied the petition by letter dated July 23, 1986.
We must first determine whether, as the DPW contends, this appeal should be quashed. The DPW argues that Quincy sought an exception to an administrative regulation, and that the grant of such an exception would be a legislative act, and thus, not subject to judicial review. Quincy counters that its petition to reopen was, in effect, a request ...