Via Christi Hosp. Wichita v. Burwell, No. 15-5089 (D.C. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Via Christi seeks an upward adjustment of the capital-asset depreciation reimbursement paid to its predecessor hospitals under a since curtailed Medicare regulation. Via Christi argues that it received St. Francis’s and St. Joseph’s assets at a lower value, i.e., more depreciated, than was reflected in the Secretary’s earlier depreciation reimbursements. As the hospitals’ successor-in-interest, Via Christi thus seeks additional reimbursements to cover the proportional Medicare share of the depreciation. The court concluded that the Secretary reasonably interpreted the bona fide sale requirement as limited to arm’s length transactions between economically self-interested parties. The Secretary concluded that St. Francis’s transfer of its assets to Via Christi was not an arm’s-length transaction in which each party sought to maximize its economic benefit. The court concluded that the Secretary's determination was supported by substantial evidence, and was not arbitrary, capricious or otherwise unlawful. In this case, Via Christi is not entitled to additional depreciation reimbursement in the absence of a qualifying transaction.