WAC 182-526-0495

Effective February 1, 2013

WAC 182-526-0495 Equitable estoppel.

(1) Equitable estoppel is a legal doctrine that may be used only as a defense to prevent the health care authority (HCA) from taking some action against a person or entity, such as collecting an overpayment. Equitable estoppel may not be used to require HCA to continue to provide something or to require HCA to take action contrary to a statute.

(2) There are five elements of equitable estoppel. The standard of proof is clear and convincing evidence. A party asserting the doctrine of equitable estoppel must prove all of the following five elements:

(a) HCA made a statement or took an action or failed to take an action, which is inconsistent with a later claim or position by HCA.

(b) The party reasonably relied on HCA's original statement, action or failure to act.

(c) The party will be injured to its detriment if HCA is allowed to contradict the original statement, action or failure to act.

(d) Equitable estoppel is needed to prevent a manifest injustice. Factors to be considered in determining whether a manifest injustice would occur include, but are not limited to, whether:

(i) The party cannot afford to repay the money to HCA;

(ii) The party gave HCA timely and accurate information when required;

(iii) The party did not know that HCA made a mistake;

(iv)The party is free from fault; and

(v) The overpayment was caused solely by an HCA mistake.

(e) The exercise of government functions is not impaired.

(3) If the ALJ concludes that the party has proven all of the elements of equitable estoppel in subsection (2) of this section with clear and convincing evidence, HCA is stopped or prevented from taking action or enforcing a claim against that party.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.