HHS must eliminate Medicare appeals backlog, AHA says

The American Hospital Association is asking a federal judge to deny HHS' request to modify a court order requiring the department to completely eliminate its Medicare appeals backlog. 

HHS said it cannot fully comply with the order because "it is unlikely that the backlog could be reduced completely to zero by the end of the fiscal year," according to a Sept. 23 AHA news release. 

The agency is required to eliminate the backlog by the end of 2022 as the result of a 2018 federal court ruling. AHA said in the release that it would agree to a modest extension, but "the end goal must be the elimination of" the backlog. 

AHA also asked the court to require HHS to file monthly, rather than quarterly reports that include additional information on the remaining 19,802 backlogged cases. 

There were 426,594 appeals identified in the 2018 court order. 

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