The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has appealed a ruling by United States District Court Judge James E. Boasberg that had required HHS to make substantial reductions in its current backlog of cases pending before Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) (Notice of Appeal, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Case No. 17-5018).  In his Memorandum Decision filed December 5, 2016, Judge Boasberg had ordered HHS to achieve a 30% reduction in the current backlog of cases pending at the ALJ level by December 31, 2017; 60% by December 31, 2018; 90% by December 31, 2019; and 100% by December 31, 2020.  Memorandum Decision, US District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 14-CV-008510-JEB (December 5, 2016).  The litigation, originally filed more than two years ago by the American Hospital Association, sought a writ of mandamus against the HHS Secretary.                                                         

HHS recognizes the backlog of cases as a significant issue, and on January 17, 2017, issued a Final Rule to streamline and address the backlog at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and Departmental Appeals Board/Medicare Appeals Council levels.  Read more about the Final Rule here.