Medicare appeals backlog reduced nearly 20%

HHS is making progress on reducing the backlog of Medicare appeals at the administrative law judge level, according to a recent status report.

The agency told a federal court July 1 that from Nov. 1 through the end of the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, it reduced the number of pending appeals from 426,594 to 343,658. That is a net reduction of 82,936, or 19.4 percent.

The HHS status report was part of a federal judge's ruling in a lawsuit filed by the American Hospital Association; Mountain Home, Ark.-based Baxter Regional Medical Center; Knoxville, Tenn.-based Covenant Health; and Rutland (Vt.) Regional Medical Center.

In November, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered HHS to incrementally reduce the backlog of appeals at the administrative law judge level. He ordered the agency to reduce the backlog by 19 percent by the end of fiscal year 2019; 49 percent by the end of fiscal year 2020; 75 percent by the end of fiscal year 2021; and totally eliminate it by the end of fiscal year 2022.


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