AHCA Update Regarding Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals Public Meeting on February 12, 2014

 

AHCA has provided a brief update regarding the US Department of Health (HHS), Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), announcement that it will be holding a public meeting on Feb. 12, 2014, for those appealing Medicare claims to discuss various agency attempts to handle the lengthy appeals backlog.  AHCA will be attending the OMHA meeting and advocating on behalf of the Kansas Health Care Association.  Since the original announcement, OMHA has released additional information and materials on its website at http://www.hhs.gov/omha/omha_medicare_appellant_forum.html, which include:

·      Letter from the Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) – OMHA has temporarily suspended the assignment of most new requests for an ALJ hearing to allow OMHA to “catch up.”  This temporary measure was necessitated by a dramatic increase in the number of decisions being appealed to OMHA , the 3rd level of appeal.  OMHA will continue to assign and process requests filed directly by Medicare beneficiaries, to ensure their health and safety.  Assignment of all other new requests for hearing will resume as ALJs are able to accommodate additional workload.  However, with the current backlog, OMHA does not expect general assignments to resume for at least 24 months. 

·      Event Information – OMHA will host a Medicare Appellant Forum Wednesday, February 12, 2014, from 10:00AM - 5:00PM, ET, in the Cohen Auditorium of the Wilbur J. Cohen Building located at 330 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, Dc, 20024.  The purpose of the meeting is for OMHA to provide updates, relay information on OMHA initiatives designed to mitigate a growing appeals backlog, and furnish information on measures that providers can take to make the administrative appeals process more efficient.

·      OMHA Medicare Appellant Forum Agenda – Agenda is posted at http://www.hhs.gov/omha/omha_medicare_appellant_forum.html and is an entire day of updates from the federal government.

·      Registration Form – The registration form is posted http://www.hhs.gov/omha/omha_medicare_appellant_forum.html.  Deadline to register is Tuesday, January 28, 2014.  OMHA is considering a phone line for the event depending on who many individuals are interested in attending.  For additional information, call Sylvia Baquero, (703) 235-0145, sylvia.baquero@hhs.gov, or Paula Taylor, (703) 235-0125, paula.taylor@hhs.gov.  Alternatively, you can request additional information via email to OSOMHAAppellantForum@hhs.gov.

·      Attendee Information –Directions to the OMHA Forum are posted on the OMHA website.

 

OMHA also has advised the public to periodically review the website, as more documents and materials may be added prior to the event.  To obtain a complete copy of the Federal Register with the original OMHA Medicare Appellant Forum announcement go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/FR-2014-01-03/2013-31461/content-detail.html.  We will continue to update you on this matter as it unfolds.