IN THE MATTER OF T.A. AND T.O.; SAINT ALPHONSUS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, Appellant,
ELMORE COUNTY and THE BOARD OF ELMORE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, Respondents
2015 Opinion No. 50
Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Elmore County. Hon. Lynn G. Norton, District Judge.
The district court's judgment is vacated and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion. Costs on appeal are awarded to appellant.
Elam & Burke, Boise, attorneys for appellant. Robert A. Berry argued.
Elmore County Prosecutor's Office, Mountain Home, attorneys for respondents. Jessica L. Kuehn argued.
Michael Kane & Associates, PLLC, attorneys for amicus, Idaho Association of Counties, Inc. Michael J. Kane argued.
W. JONES, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, J. JONES and HORTON CONCUR.
W. JONES, Justice.
I. Nature of The Case
This appeal from the district court presents an issue of statutory interpretation of the Medical Indigency Act. Appellant Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (Saint Alphonsus) submitted third party medical indigency applications on behalf of two patients. Respondent Elmore County and the Board of Elmore County Commissioners (the Board) denied the applications because the Board determined that the applications were incomplete. Saint Alphonsus filed petitions for judicial review. The district court consolidated the cases and affirmed the Board's decision. Saint Alphonsus appeals to this Court. We vacate and remand for further proceedings.
II. Factual and Procedural Background
On January 9, 2013, Saint Alphonsus submitted a Combined Application for State and County Medical Assistance on behalf of a patient T.O. Similarly, on March 18, 2013, Saint Alphonsus submitted a Combined Application for State and County Medical Assistance on behalf on a patient T.A. T.O.'s and T.A.'s applications will be referred to collectively as the " Applications."
Pages 1, 9, and 10 of the Applications had a line for the signature of the applicant. On Page 1, the applicant signs to acknowledge " that by completing this application form, it will be used to determine my eligibility" and " that I have read, understand, and will comply with the rules promulgated . . . pursuant to Title 31, Chapter 35, Idaho Code." On Page 9, the applicant signs a document titled " Patient Rights and Responsibilities for State and County Assistance," and, on Page 10, the applicant signs a document titled " Release of Information." Neither T.O. nor T.A. signed Pages 1, 9, and 10 of their Applications.
Page 9 also had a line for a signature " if by a third party applicant on behalf of the applicant," which was signed by a representative of Saint Alphonsus. In addition, the Applications included a fax cover sheet, titled " Request for Medicaid Eligibility Determination: Medically Indigent Program." This cover sheet also was signed by the Saint Alphonsus representative.
The Board initially denied both Applications. Saint Alphonsus appealed, and the Board upheld its initial denials of the Applications. In both cases, the Board recognized that one requisite finding " for the payment of indigent medical expenses" was " [a] 'completed application' must be timely filed." The Board found that the Applications lacked T.O.'s and ...