Faced with a backlog of more than 350,000 appeals of claims decisions, Medicare has announced that that it will suspend acting on new requests for appeals hearings made by hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, and other providers for approximately two years.

gavelDuring that time, the federal Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals will continue to hear appeals from beneficiaries and will work to reduce its enormous case backlog.

Two years ago, Medicare was fielding approximately 1200 appeals a week.  By November of 2013, that figure had risen to 15,000.

Learn more about the appeals backlog, how and why it grew, and its impact on providers and others in this Kaiser Health News article.  Read Medicare’s announcement of its decision here, in the Federal Register.