Public Social Services; Aid and Medical Assistance; Computation and Payment of Aid Grants
(a) The director shall establish administrative procedures to review group home audit findings.
(b) A group home provider, including an RCL 13 or an RCL 14 provider, may request a hearing to examine any disputed audit finding that results in an overpayment or adjustment to the provider's rate, or that reduces the provider's overall RCL point total pursuant to Section 11462. The administrative review process established in this section shall not examine issues regarding the authority of the department to set rates, determine RCL points, conduct audits, or collect overpayments from a group home provider.
(c) The administrative appeal process established pursuant to this section shall commence with an informal hearing, and provide for a formal administrative hearing of the informal level appeal record and decision by a hearing officer appointed by the director. The department shall make every effort to contract with the State Department of Health Services to conduct the informal hearings required by this subdivision during the first year of implementation of this section.
(d) An amended audit report may be issued by the department for the fiscal period or periods for which the proceedings are pending under this section, if at the time of the hearing, the group home provider submits additional documentation or evidence that was not available to the department at the time of the audit. The proceedings shall be suspended for a period not exceeding 120 days while the department completes an amended audit and the provider identifies any additional disputes that result from an amended audit report. Additional audit findings included in an amended audit report may also be included in the proceedings at the request of the provider.
(e) Within 120 days after submission of a proposed decision, the director shall do one of the following:
(1) Adopt the proposed decision with or without reading or hearing the record.
(2) Reject the proposed decision and adopt an alternative decision based upon the documentary and electronically recorded record, with or without taking additional evidence.
(3) Refer the matter to the same or a different hearing officer to take additional evidence. If the case is so assigned, the hearing officer shall, within 90 days, prepare a proposed decision, based upon the additional evidence and the documentary and electronically recorded record of the prior hearing. The director may then take one of the actions described in this subdivision in regard to the new proposed decision. The director may return a proposed decision twice on the same appeal.
(f) (1) The director's decision shall be final when the decision is mailed to the parties. However, the director retains jurisdiction to correct clerical errors.
(2) Copies of the final decision of the director and the hearing officer's proposed decision, if it was not adopted by the director, shall be mailed by certified mail to the parties.
(g) The group home provider may request review of the final decision of the director pursuant to this section in accordance with Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure within six months of the issuance of the director's final decision.
(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 183, Sec. 380.)