A judge upheld a decision by the Provider Reimbursement Review Board to deny a $2 million payment sought by an Arkansas health system. U.S. District Judge James Robertson in Washington affirmed the board's 2004 decision rejecting a claim by CommunityCare Foundation, Springdale, Ark., for a depreciation loss on assets disposed of in 1996. That year, the city of Bentonville, Ark., transferred Bates Medical Center to a predecessor company of CommunityCare, which assumed the hospital's debt. The city terminated Bates' lease of the facility and issued a new one. The review board supported the fiscal intermediary's decision to reject CommunityCare's claim for a depreciation loss on the facility. In his ruling on the foundation's appeal, Robertson wrote that the board was correct in deciding that because the lease was terminated and not transferred, "the depreciation loss cannot be recognized ... In hindsight, the decision to terminate was an unfortunate one, but I find nothing in the record to suggest that an alternative reading is compelled ... ." The foundation's chief financial officer, Nan Schoonover, said it had no plans to appeal "at this point." -- by Mark Taylor
Judge backs denial of hospital's depreciation claim
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