Press Release

Statement on ALJ Delay Lawsuit

Contact: Marie Watteau,(202) 626-2351

Statement on ALJ Delay Lawsuit 

Rich Umbdenstock
President and CEO
American Hospital Association 

December 19, 2014

We disagree with the court’s decision not to compel the Department of Health and Human Services to meet statutory deadlines for timely review of Medicare claims denials on the basis of “competing priorities.” We expect to appeal the decision and will call upon the government to identify those priorities that trump providing hospitals with the necessary resources to provide essential care to the nation’s elderly and most vulnerable patients.

While the court itself recognizes that hospitals simply cannot afford to have billions of dollars that are needed for patient care tied up indefinitely in the appeals process, its decision means that hospitals will be compelled to endure a prolonged “waiting game.”

We are extremely disappointed that a court entirely insulated from the devastating effects of multi-year delays in payments for medical care as a result of bureaucratic mismanagement would find in favor of the government.


About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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