Nursing Home Cannot Pursue Appeal of Medicaid Application for Deceased Resident

An Ohio appeals court rules that a nursing home that was designated as the authorized representative for a resident in order to apply for Medicaid does not have standing to appeal the state’s denial of the Medicaid application after the resident’s death. Saber Health Care v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (Ohio Ct. App., 4th Dist., No. 20CA1107, August 4, 2020).

Nursing home resident Thomas Adams designated the nursing home as his authorized representative in order to apply for Medicaid. He died while the application was pending. The state denied the application, and the nursing home appealed the decision. 

After the state affirmed the denial, the nursing home appealed the decision to court. The trial court dismissed the case, ruling that the nursing home did not have standing. The nursing home appealed, arguing that it had standing because the administrative decision adversely affected its pecuniary interests. 

The Ohio Court of Appeals, Fourth District, affirms, holding that the nursing home does not have standing to pursue the appeal because the authorized representative designation lapsed when Mr. Adams died. The court looks at the plain language of the statute defining an appellant for the purposes of appealing to court and concludes that the nursing home does not meet that definition. According to the court, only the estate administrator could represent Mr. Adams in court. 

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