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On January 22, 2013 the Supreme Court announced its decision in Sebelius v. Auburn Regional Medical Center.  This case involves Medicare payments to hospitals.  The issue was whethera 180-day statutory time limit for filing an appeal with the Provider Reimbursement Review Board from a final Medicare payment determination is subject to equitable tolling, meaning that a court has power to delay the running of the time limit in the interests of fairness.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held unanimously that the 180-day period is not jurisdictional and that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services lawfully exercised her rulemaking authority in providing for a 3-year “good cause” extension.  The Court further held, however, that a presumption in favor of equitable tolling did not apply to the good cause extension time limit, and therefore reversed the lower court decision to the contrary.  Justice Sotomayor issued a concurring opinion.

To discuss the case, we have Evan Young, who is a Senior Associate at Baker Botts, LLP.

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