The Department of Health and Human Services through Sept. 30 has reduced by more than 75% its backlog of Medicare appeals at the Administrative Law Judge level, according to a status report the agency provided Dec. 21, 2021 to a federal court.
 
“By the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, a total of 60,062 appeals remain pending at OMHA, [Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals], which is a reduction of over 85% from the starting number of appeals identified in the Court’s order (426,594 appeals),” HHS told the court. 
 
The reduction puts the agency ahead of schedule for reducing the backlog in response to a 2018 federal court ruling in favor of the AHA and its member hospital plaintiffs, which established annual deadline-based targets for reducing the backlog of Medicare appeals at the ALJ level. HHS also reported that additional appeals received at OMHA this quarter totaled 7,930, compared to 8,083 last quarter, with only 232 Recovery Audit Contractor-related receipts compared with 288 last quarter.
 

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