As a result of AHA lawsuit, HHS continues to reduce appeals backlog

The Department of Health and Human Services through June 26 has reduced by 43% its backlog of Medicare appeals at the Administrative Law Judge level, according to a status report the agency provided today to a federal court.

“By the end of the second quarter of 2020, a total of 242,995 appeals remain pending at OMHA [Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals], which is a 43% reduction from the starting number of appeals identified in the Court’s order (426,594 appeals),” HHS told the court today.

The reduction, which puts the agency ahead of schedule for reducing the backlog, responds to a 2018 federal court ruling in favor of the AHA and its member hospital plaintiffs that established annual deadline-based targets for reducing the backlog of Medicare appeals at the ALJ level. It appears that most resolutions are coming from increased OMHA adjudications.