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MONSOUR MEDICAL CENTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/30/87)

decided: November 30, 1987.

MONSOUR MEDICAL CENTER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Appeal of: Monsour Medical Center, File No. 65K0023.

COUNSEL

John M. Silvestri, for petitioner.

Jason W. Manne, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Barry and Palladino, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.

Author: Narick

[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 360]

Monsour Medical Center (Petitioner) appeals from a decision of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) which denied Petitioner's request for reimbursement for in-patient care.

The issue presented for our consideration by Petitioner in its brief is whether the decision of DPW's Executive Deputy Secretary in denying reimbursement for the hospitalization of a mentally retarded fifteen year old boy from June 12, 1985 to June 16, 1985 was proper. However, before we can reach this issue, we must determine whether Petitioner's appeal to this Court was timely.*fn1

The relevant facts are as follows. Petitioner submitted an appropriate request for reimbursement of hospital services to DPW's Bureau of Utilization Review (BUR). The BUR denied Petitioner's request for reimbursement. On or about October 21, 1985 Petitioner requested an appeal from the decision of the BUR. On February 25, 1986, a hearing was held before a DPW

[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 361]

    hearing officer, after which the hearing officer recommended that the request for reimbursement be denied. On August 14, 1986, the director of OHA, Patricia H. O'Neal, issued a decision and order adopting the hearing officer's decision and denying reimbursement of the in-patient medical services requested by Petitioner. This order specifically provided that any party dissatisfied with the decision could request a reconsideration and that said reconsideration must be postmarked within fifteen days from the date of the order. The order further provided that a request for reconsideration would not toll the time within which an appeal must be filed to the Commonwealth Court and that an appeal must be taken to the Commonwealth Court within thirty days from the date of the order.

On August 29, 1986, Petitioner requested a reconsideration of the OHA order of August 14, 1986. The Executive Deputy Secretary did not act on this request for reconsideration until October 7, 1986 when it issued a preliminary order granting reconsideration. On November 19, 1986, a final order denying reconsideration was issued by the Executive Deputy Secretary. On December 19, 1986, a petition for review was filed by Petitioner with this Court.

In Ormes v. Department of Public Welfare, 98 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 588, 512 A.2d 87 (1986), this Court determined that DPW regulations which provided for a thirty day time to appeal after the secretary's response to a request for reconsideration were invalid because they were inconsistent with the provisions of Pa. R.A.P. 1701(b)(3). According to Pa. R.A.P. 1701(b)(3) after an appeal is taken or review of a quasi judicial order is sought, the trial court or other government unit may grant reconsideration of the order ...


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