U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports inability to meet court-imposed deadline to eliminate Medicare appeals backlog

On Monday, March 6, 2017, DHHS stated in a report to the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, that it lacks the money and staff to eliminate its pending Medicare billing appeals backlog by the court-imposed 2021 deadline. 

U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ordered the pending claims to be reduced pursuant to a schedule for the years 2018 to 2021 as a result of a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, on November 1, 2012, by the American Hospital Association and four other hospitals or associations against then Secretary Sebelius of DHHS.  (Case 1:12-cv-01770 Document 1.)

DHHS had issued a final rule (82 Fed. Reg. 4974) on January 17, 2017, to revise procedures in the hope of reducing the pending backlog of Medicare appeals of payment and coverage determinations.