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The Medicare Appeal Conundrum

We have previously discussed in a number of forums the success achieved by providers in appealing Medicare claim audits and denials to the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) level of the statutory appeal process. Because of the success in overturning claim decisions, more and more providers have exercised their rights to appeal claim determinations or audits resulting in alleged overpayments. The number of appeal requests submitted to the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (“OMHA”) increased from approximately 1,250 per week in 2012 to 15,000 per week in 2014. This incredible increase has caused a log jam, where the average processing time for an appeal request is now 464 days and providers are awaiting ALJ hearings in over 1 million appeals.

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