CMS makes offer to help clear Medicare claims backlog

CMS has offered to pay hospitals 68 percent of what hospitals claim they are owed for short-term inpatient stays, in an effort to help clear the backlog of Medicare claims.

In December, the HHS Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals announced a temporary suspension of most new requests for administrative law judge hearings concerning payment denials from recovery audit contractors, which has caused the number of backlogged claims to grow. 

CMS is offering the settlement to "alleviate the administrative burden of current appeals on both the hospital and Medicare system," according to the CMS notice.

Hospitals will have 60 days to decide whether to accept the offer from CMS. Hospitals may reject the offer, as it is somewhat limited in scope. For example, it would not apply to any short-term hospital admission that occurred after Oct. 1, 2013.

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