Does Equitable Estoppel Apply If Petitioner Fails to Show DPW Misrepresentation Fraud or Concealment ?
In Oakmont the medical assistance provider argued that equitable estoppel applied to preclude DPW from asserting that the Board lacked jurisdiction over reimbursement claims because the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) originally advocated for jurisdiction in the Board and case law conferred jurisdiction in the Board over these claims.
The Supreme Court affirmed this Court's holding that the Board lacked jurisdiction, and it rejected the appellant's equitable estoppel argument after concluding that there was a substantial change in DPW's position regarding the Board's jurisdiction that began in or around the late 1990s.
The court held that the appellant's position was offset by its awareness of the change in DPW's position as well as the "availability of a federally-prescribed, alternative forum with associated judicial review that would have alleviated the jurisdictional component of the conflict." Id., 583 Pa. at 354, 877 A.2d at 431.
Because Petitioner failed to show DPW misrepresentation, fraud or concealment, the Court rejects the contention that equitable estoppel applies.
At no time was Petitioner prevented from filing a timely appeal.