Section 5101.35 | Appeals.
(A) As used in this section:
(1)(a) "Agency" means the following entities that administer a family services program:
(i) The department of job and family services;
(ii) A county department of job and family services;
(iii) A public children services agency;
(iv) A private or government entity administering, in whole or in part, a family services program for or on behalf of the department of job and family services or a county department of job and family services or public children services agency.
(b) If the department of medicaid contracts with the department of job and family services to hear appeals authorized by section 5160.31 of the Revised Code regarding medical assistance programs, "agency" includes the department of medicaid.
(2) "Appellant" means an applicant, participant, former participant, recipient, or former recipient of a family services program who is entitled by federal or state law to a hearing regarding a decision or order of the agency that administers the program.
(3)(a) "Family services program" means all of the following:
(i) A Title IV-A program as defined in section 5101.80 of the Revised Code;
(ii) Programs that provide assistance under Chapter 5104. of the Revised Code;
(iv) Title XX social services provided under section 5101.46 of the Revised Code, other than such services provided by the department of mental health and addiction services, the department of developmental disabilities, a board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services, or a county board of developmental disabilities.
(b) If the department of medicaid contracts with the department of job and family services to hear appeals authorized by section 5160.31 of the Revised Code regarding medical assistance programs, "family services program" includes medical assistance programs.
(4) "Medical assistance program" has the same meaning as in section 5160.01 of the Revised Code.
(B) Except as provided by divisions (G) and (H) of this section, an appellant who appeals under federal or state law a decision or order of an agency administering a family services program shall, at the appellant's request, be granted a state hearing by the department of job and family services. This state hearing shall be conducted in accordance with rules adopted under this section. The state hearing shall be recorded, but neither the recording nor a transcript of the recording shall be part of the official record of the proceeding. Except as provided in section 5160.31 of the Revised Code, a state hearing decision is binding upon the agency and department, unless it is reversed or modified on appeal to the director of job and family services or a court of common pleas.
(C) Except as provided by division (G) of this section, an appellant who disagrees with a state hearing decision may make an administrative appeal to the director of job and family services in accordance with rules adopted under this section. This administrative appeal does not require a hearing, but the director or the director's designee shall review the state hearing decision and previous administrative action and may affirm, modify, remand, or reverse the state hearing decision. An administrative appeal decision is the final decision of the department and, except as provided in section 5160.31 of the Revised Code, is binding upon the department and agency, unless it is reversed or modified on appeal to the court of common pleas.
(D) An agency shall comply with a decision issued pursuant to division (B) or (C) of this section within the time limits established by rules adopted under this section. If a county department of job and family services or a public children services agency fails to comply within these time limits, the department may take action pursuant to section 5101.24 of the Revised Code. If another agency, other than the department of medicaid, fails to comply within the time limits, the department may force compliance by withholding funds due the agency or imposing another sanction established by rules adopted under this section.
(E) An appellant who disagrees with an administrative appeal decision of the director of job and family services or the director's designee issued under division (C) of this section may appeal from the decision to the court of common pleas pursuant to section 119.12 of the Revised Code. The appeal shall be governed by section 119.12 of the Revised Code except that:
(1) The person may appeal to the court of common pleas of the county in which the person resides, or to the court of common pleas of Franklin county if the person does not reside in this state.
(2) The person may apply to the court for designation as an indigent and, if the court grants this application, the appellant shall not be required to furnish the costs of the appeal.
(3) The appellant shall mail the notice of appeal to the department of job and family services and file notice of appeal with the court within thirty days after the department mails the administrative appeal decision to the appellant. For good cause shown, the court may extend the time for mailing and filing notice of appeal, but such time shall not exceed six months from the date the department mails the administrative appeal decision. Filing notice of appeal with the court shall be the only act necessary to vest jurisdiction in the court.
(4) The department shall be required to file a transcript of the testimony of the state hearing with the court only if the court orders the department to file the transcript. The court shall make such an order only if it finds that the department and the appellant are unable to stipulate to the facts of the case and that the transcript is essential to a determination of the appeal. The department shall file the transcript not later than thirty days after the day such an order is issued.
(F) The department of job and family services shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement this section, including rules governing the following:
(1) State hearings under division (B) of this section. The rules shall include provisions regarding notice of eligibility termination and the opportunity of an appellant appealing a decision or order of a county department of job and family services to request a county conference with the county department before the state hearing is held.
(2) Administrative appeals under division (C) of this section;
(3) Time limits for complying with a decision issued under division (B) or (C) of this section;
(4) Sanctions that may be applied against an agency under division (D) of this section.
(G) The department of job and family services may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing an appeals process for an appellant who appeals a decision or order regarding a Title IV-A program identified under division (A)(4)(c), (d), (e), (f), or (g) of section 5101.80 of the Revised Code that is different from the appeals process established by this section. The different appeals process may include having a state agency that administers the Title IV-A program pursuant to an interagency agreement entered into under section 5101.801 of the Revised Code administer the appeals process.
(H) If an appellant receiving medicaid through a health insuring corporation that holds a certificate of authority under Chapter 1751. of the Revised Code is appealing a denial of medicaid services based on lack of medical necessity or other clinical issues regarding coverage by the health insuring corporation, the person hearing the appeal may order an independent medical review if that person determines that a review is necessary. The review shall be performed by a health care professional with appropriate clinical expertise in treating the recipient's condition or disease. The department shall pay the costs associated with the review.
A review ordered under this division shall be part of the record of the hearing and shall be given appropriate evidentiary consideration by the person hearing the appeal.
(I) The requirements of Chapter 119. of the Revised Code apply to a state hearing or administrative appeal under this section only to the extent, if any, specifically provided by rules adopted under this section.