◾ U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington
ruled last week that HHS must eliminate a backlog of hundreds of thousands of outstanding Medicare claims appeals by the end of fiscal 2022. The logjam now stands at 426,594 claims. HHS will have to meet a series of milestones as it works through the claims. Boasberg ordered that 19% of the appeals should be cleared out by the end of fiscal 2019, 49% by the end of fiscal 2020 and 75% by the end of fiscal 2021. HHS must also file status reports every quarter on its progress. Justice Department attorney Nicholas Cartier told Boasberg that HHS needs continued funding from Congress to help it hire administrative law judges and support staff to review denied claim appeals if it’s going to meet those deadlines.