HHS Expects to Clear Appeals Backlog by 2019

The Medicare administrative appeals backlog could be reduced to zero by 2019, according to a filing by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in federal district court last week. The American Hospital Association (AHA) has brought a case against the Department to require HHS to curb the multi-year appeals backlog they blame on the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program. HHS asked the court not to intervene in the appeals process. HHS believes that a settlement program offering hospitals two-thirds of the contested reimbursement in exchange for dropping their appeal, along with other administrative and legislative policies, will adequately address the backlog by 2019.

Trump Administration Staff Announcements

President-Elect Donald Trump has named Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus as chief of staff and his campaign CEO Stephen Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor. Priebus previously worked as chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. He has a long history in Republican politics as a grassroots volunteer. He worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party of Wisconsin as 1st Congressional District Chairman, State Party Treasurer, First Vice Chair, and eventually State Party Chairman. In 2009, he served as General Counsel to the RNC, a role in which he volunteered his time. Bannon is the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Network, LLC and the Chief
Executive Officer of American Vantage Media Corporation and Affinity Media. Mr. Bannon is also a Partner of Societe Gererale, a talent management company in the entertainment business. He has served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Genius Products, Inc. since February 2005.

Upcoming Congressional Meetings and Hearings

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing titled “Understanding the Role of Connected Devices in Recent Cyber Attacks;” 10:00 a.m., 2322 Rayburn Bldg.; November 16

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to explore potential Mylan-Justice Department Settlement Over EpiPens; 10:00 a.m., November 30


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 -  2018