From October 4 – 30, 2016, South Carolina experienced strong winds and heavy rain caused by Hurricane Matthew. The Applicant implemented its Emergency Disaster Preparedness Plan by moving patients to other hospitals, repositioning supplies, and closing non-essential departments. The Applicant also made permanent repairs to Roper Hospital Diagnostics, ER Northwoods facility (Facility). FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 890 to document the Applicant’s request for Category B, emergency protective measures. However, on May 16, 2017, FEMA issued a Determination Memorandum (DM) denying costs associated with permanent work performed, finding the facilities were ineligible for repair or replacement. FEMA determined the Applicant was leasing the Facility but did not own it and did not have legal responsibility over it. FEMA issued an additional DM dated December 13, 2017, denying costs for overtime and standby time at the facilities, finding them to be increased operating costs, not emergency protective measures. In its first appeal dated September 27, 2017, the Applicant challenged FEMA’s determination that the Applicant did not have legal responsibility for the facility, noting that the lease required it to obtain insurance for the Facility. The Applicant later challenged the denial of its requested overtime and standby time costs, calling them emergency protective measures. The FEMA Region IV Regional Administrator denied the appeal, finding that under the lease, the landlord is responsible for Facility repairs; and that the overtime and standby costs were routine patient care. On August 15, 2019, the Applicant submitted a second appeal reiterating its first appeal arguments. FEMA is denying the second appeal because the Applicant does not have legal responsibility for permanent repairs and all eligible emergency protective measures were previously reimbursed.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(3).
- PAPPG, Jan. 2016, at 42.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(3) states that eligible work must be the legal responsibility of the applicant.
- The Applicant does not own the facilities. Under the terms of its lease, the landlord is responsible for repairing the facilities.
- PAPPG, states that increased costs of operating a facility or providing a service are generally not eligible, even when directly related to the incident.
- The Applicant requested overtime and standby time as emergency protective measures. However, both the overtime and standby time were determined by FEMA to be increased operating costs.
The Applicant has not demonstrated that it has legal responsibility for the repairs to the damaged Facility. In addition, the Applicant’s costs for overtime and standby time are increased operating costs and are ineligible for PA reimbursement. Therefore, the appeal is denied.