Judge sets deadline for HHS to clear Medicare appeals backlog

A federal judge on Nov. 1 said HHS must clear its backlog of more than 400,000 Medicare reimbursement appeals from hospitals by the end of fiscal year 2022.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered HHS to incrementally reduce the backlog over the next four years. He ordered the agency to cut 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 to completely eliminate the backlog by the end of fiscal year 2022.

"The AHA is extremely pleased that Judge Boasberg recognized the need to reimpose a time-based mandamus remedy for reducing the Medicare appeals backlog, which is what the AHA and plaintiff hospitals had originally requested," AHA General Counsel Melinda Hatton said in a press release. "The court's mandamus order will serve to keep HHS accountable in reducing the backlog."

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