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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 047-UHJ7Y-00; Memorial Hospital at Gulfport
PW ID# PW 631; Increased Operating Expenses
Conclusion: Pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.225, the work performed by the Applicant’s staff during and following Hurricane Isaac is not emergency work. Therefore, the costs reflected in PW 631 for force account labor overtime and meal vouchers for staff are considered increased operating expenses and ineligible for PA funding.
Following Hurricane Isaac, FEMA drafted Project Worksheet (PW) 631 to capture the costs associated with the actions taken by the Applicant during and after the disaster. FEMA obligated PW 631 for $40,516.56 to reflect costs incurred to operate and maintain generators. However, FEMA determined that $410,665.61 for force account labor overtime and $24,845.00 for meals to feed staff were ineligible for PA funding because FEMA considers these costs increased operating expenses. In the first appeal, the Applicant asserted that the force account labor overtime was used to continue a critical public service, provide medical care and emergency medical care services to patients, and maintain functional generators to ensure electricity throughout the hospital. In addition, the Applicant asserted that, due to a “lock down” situation, the Applicant had to feed its staff while they were confined to the hospital. The FEMA Region IV Regional Administrator (RA) determined that the cost associated with PW 631 was an increased operating expense, and as such, was not an eligible emergency cost. In the Applicant’s second appeal, it requests $435,510.61 for costs incurred during and after Hurricane Isaac, again asserting the force account labor overtime costs reflected eligible emergency work and FEMA should reimburse them.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.225.
- DAP 9525.4, Emergency Medical Care and Medical Evacuations, at 1-3.
- Ochsner Clinic Foundation, FEMA-1603-DR-LA, at 2 (Oct. 3, 2008).
- PA Guide, at 54.
- Pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.225, emergency protective measures to save lives, to protect public health and safety, and to protect improved property are eligible for PA funding.
- According to DAP 9525.4, costs associated with providing temporary facilities for emergency medical care of disaster survivors when existing facilities are destroyed or severely impacted are eligible for PA funding. However, increased administrative and operating costs to a hospital due to increased or anticipated increased patient load, labor costs for medical staff, and increased costs for feeding residents and staff of critical facilities are ineligible for PA funding.
- The Applicant required staff to stay onsite and provided meal vouchers during a “lock down” period during and following Hurricane Isaac. The Applicant claimed costs for this work as emergency protective measures.
FEMA policy explicitly states costs associated with this type of work are ineligible for PA funding because they are increased operating expenses