from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
Friedman, Domiano & Smith Co., L.PA., Jeffrey H.
Friedman, and Richard L. Warren, Jr., for appellant.
Yost, Attorney General, and Theresa R. Dirisamer, for
Richard L. Warren, Jr.
Theresa R. Dirisamer.
1} Plaintiff-appellant, Melinda Melnyk, appeals the
August 16, 2018 decision and entry of the Franklin County
Court of Common Pleas affirming the June 30, 2017 decision of
defendant-appellee, Ohio Department of Medicaid
("ODM"). For the following reasons, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
2} This matter arises out of an accident on July 13,
2011, as a result of which appellant, a Medicaid recipient,
suffered serious injuries. On October 19, 2011, counsel for
appellant sent a letter to ODM seeking an itemization of
Medicaid expenditures advanced on appellant's behalf. In
the letter, counsel for appellant stated that "[t]his
letter shall serve as an acknowledgment of [ODM's]
purported interest in the case, and [ODM's] purported
interest will be protected to the extent [ODM] is entitled to
relief under the contract as interpreted by Ohio law."
(Oct. 19, 2011 Letter at 1.)
3} On November 18, 2011, ODM sent appellant a letter
stating that "[p]ursuant to [R.C.] 5101.58 and 5101.59,
[ODM] has an automatic right of recovery against the
liability of a third party for the cost of medical services
and care arising out of injury, disease, or disability of the
Medicaid recipient." On February 3, 2012, ODM sent
appellant a letter informing her the interim amount of
medical expenditures to date totaled $126, 568.93 and stating
"[ODM] must be reimbursed for its medical assistance if
a judgment or settlement is reached."
4} On April 11, 2012, ODM sent appellant a letter in
which it again stated "[ODM] must be reimbursed for its
medical assistance if a judgment or settlement is
reached." ODM also informed appellant that the final
amount of medical expenditures owed was $126,
568.93. Attached to the April 11, 2012 letter was an
ODM request for reduction form that contained the following
statements: "[ODM] requires full payment of related
medical assistance paid unless the settlement is not
sufficient to permit full payment. The following information
is needed in order for a request for reduction to be
considered. Completion of this form does not guarantee that
your request will be approved. [ODM] makes the final decision
in all reduction requests."
5} On June 7, 2012,  appellant's counsel sent ODM
a letter seeking to "discuss settlement of [ODM's]
lien." Attached to the June 7, 2012 letter was the
request for reduction form, which had been filled with
information detailing the nature of appellant's request
for the reduction of the claim. The letter explains that
appellant only received $300, 000 as settlement from the
parties involved in her accident and that appellant's
counsel "spent numerous hours deposing both drivers and
speaking with witnesses" to prove negligence. (Rec. of
Proceedings at 62.) The letter further explained appellant is
a single mother of two minor children and that the amputation
of her left leg has hindered her ability to care for them.
Finally, the letter explains she has been assessed
substantial charges to hire drivers and housekeepers, and as
a result it is necessary for her to recover as much as
possible from this settlement. In the form, which was signed
and dated June 7, 2012, appellant's counsel listed
appellant's settlements in the amount of $300, 000.00,
attorney fees in the amount of $120, 000.00, and expenses in
the amount of $17, 227.93. Appellant's counsel requested
the state reduce its recovery to $50, 000.00, leaving a
remainder from the settlements in the amount of $112, 772.07
for appellant. Attached to the form was a breakdown of
settlement, attorney fees, and expenses.
6} On June 19, 2012, ODM sent appellant a letter
agreeing to reduce the amount appellant owed to satisfy
recovery of medical expenditures to $77, 848.03. In the
letter, ODM stated the following: "[ODM] must be
reimbursed for these Medicaid expenditures if a settlement is
reached. The amount of the medical expenditures to date is
$126, 568.93. However, [ODM] has agreed to reduce the portion
of the medicals owed to the State to $77, 848.03." On
July 30, 2012, ODM sent appellant a letter acknowledging
appellant's payment of $77, 848.03 and discharging her
7} On March 11, 2016, following amendments to
Ohio's statutes governing ODM's recovery rights for
the costs of medical assistance, appellant sent a letter to
ODM requesting a hearing to contest the amount of repayment.
On April 22, 2016, ODM acknowledged ...