Dept. of Inc. Maintenance v. Heckler,
471 U.S. 524 (1985)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Dept. of Inc. Maintenance v. Heckler, 471 U.S. 524 (1985)

Connecticut Department of Income Maintenance v. Heckler

No. 83-2136

Argued March 27, 1985

Decided May 20, 1985

471 U.S. 524


The Medicaid Act does not cover services performed for patients between the ages of 21 and 65 in an "institution for mental diseases" (IMD). In the absence of a statutory definition, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) has promulgated a regulation defining an IMD as "an institution that is primarily engaged in providing diagnosis, treatment or care of persons with mental diseases," and providing that whether an institution is an IMD is determined by its "overall character." The Middletown Haven Rest Home in Connecticut is an "intermediate care facility" (ICF) that provides care for persons with mental illness as well as other diseases. Between January, 1977, and September, 1979, Connecticut paid Middletown Haven for services it provided to Medicaid eligible patients, including those between the ages of 21 and 65 who had been transferred there from state mental hospitals. Under the Medicaid program, the State received federal reimbursement for those payments. At the completion of an audit by the Department of Health and Human Services, the State was notified that the federal reimbursement was not allowable because Middletown Haven had been identified as an IMD. On administrative review, the Department's Grant Appeals Board upheld the disallowance. The State then filed an action in Federal District Court, which set aside the disallowance, but the Court of Appeals reversed.

Held: An ICF may be an IMD, and the terms are not mutually exclusive. The Act's express authorization for coverage of services performed for individuals 65 or over uses language that plainly indicates that a hospital, a skilled nursing facility, or an ICF may be an IMD. Moreover, the Secretary's interpretation of the Act comports with the Act's plain language. And the legislative history does not reveal any clear expression of contrary congressional intent. Pp. 471 U. S. 528-538.

731 F.2d 1052, affirmed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Page 471 U. S. 525

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