A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court decision and ordered that court to consider a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over its nearly two-year backlog in hearing appeals of Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor decisions.

gavelUnder HHS procedures, hospitals that disagree with RAC audit findings may appeal those findings through various administrative processes. So many hospitals were appealing those findings, though, that HHS suspended approving requests for hearings until it could address the backlog. As of February 15, decisions on those appeals were backlogged an average of 572 days.

To learn more about the appeals court’s decision and its implications for hospitals wishing to appeal RAC audit findings, see this article in Becker’s Hospital CFO.