Friday, December 16, 2005

Supreme Court of Appeals: Recent Decisions Related to Health Care in West Virginia

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia released its summary of recent opinions, including 12 opinions filed on November 17, 2005. If you are interested in following the Court's decisions as they are released you can subscribe to the RSS feed here. I previously posted about two decisions dealing with the Certificate of Need law in West Virginia.

First, the decision in Family Medical Imaging, LLC et al. v. West Virginia Health Care Authority, No. 32565 (Per Curiam)(Starcher, J., dissenting)(Nov. 17, 2005). As a followup to my previous post Justice Starcher filed his dissenting opinion in the matter on December 15, 2005.

Second, the decision in Fairmont General Hospital, Inc. v. United Hospital Center, Inc., West Virginia United Health Systems, Inc. and West Virginia Health Care Authority, No. 32669 and 32670 (Benjamin, J.) (Davis, J., concurring) (Starcher, J., dissenting) (November 29, 2005). As a followup on my previous post Justice Davis filed her concurring opinion in the matter on December 5, 2005.

Also, another health care related decision was released by the Court on November 17, 2005. The decision, State Tax Commissioner v. REM Community Options, Inc., No. 32580 (Albright, J.)(Maynard, J., dissenting)(Starcher, J., concurring), involved the Court's look at the scope of privilege tax on health care providers.

The Court affirmed, on different grounds, a decision of the Circuit Court of Kanawha County that reversed a decision by the Office of Tax Appeals that had significantly reduced the amount of privilege taxes owed by a taxpayer who provides services pursuant to Title XIX of the Social Security Act, known as the Mental Retardation Developmental Disability Waiver Program, 42 U.S.C. 1396. The Court held that it is unnecessary to address certain retroactive legislative amendments because the applicable statute as enacted applies to the behavioral services provided by the taxpayer. The Court's decision created two new syllabus points:
Syllabus point 3, that: "The term “health care related,” as it pertains to the provision of behavioral health services within the meaning of West Virginia Code § 11-13A-2(d) (1995) (Repl. Vol. 2003) for purposes of levying the privilege tax upon certain health care providers, broadly encompasses both physical and mental health and all the various services related to maintaining or restoring an individual's physical and/or mental health."

Syllabus point 4, that: "The privilege tax imposed under West Virginia Code § 11-13A-3 (1997) (Repl. Vol. 2003) upon certain health care providers is not limited in application to behavioral health care services that are provided by licensed medical providers."
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