Friday, February 16, 2018 CMS Offers Settlement Option for Providers With Denial Appeals in Limbo The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering some providers a chance to settle backlogged claims denial appeals at 62% of net allowed amounts, but there are limits and deadlines involved. Called the "Low Volume Appeals Initiative," the program is part of a CMS attempt to clear a glut of Medicare appeals piling up at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) and the Medicare Appeals Council levels. The program is limited to providers who have fewer than 500 appeals with no single appeal exceeding $9,000. Providers begin the process by submitting an "expression of interest" form to CMS. Providers with National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) ending in an even number have from between now and March 9 to turn in the form; the window for providers with NPIs ending in odd numbers will open on March 12 and close on April 11. To qualify for the settlement, the appeal must meet certain criteria: The appeal was pending before the OMHA and/or council level of appeal as of November 3, 2017. The appeal has a total billed amount of $9,000 or less. The appeal was properly filed at the OMHA or council level as of November 3, 2017. The claims included in the appeal were denied by a Medicare contractor and remain in a fully denied status in the Medicare system. The claims included in the appeal were submitted for payment under Medicare Part A or Part B. The claims included in the appeal were not part of an extrapolation. The appeal is still at the OMHA or council level of review when an administrative agreement is fully executed. The final agreement would cover all claims that are approved for settlement. Once finalized by CMS and the provider, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will total the claim amounts and make a single total payment within 180 days of CMS' signature on the agreement. Questions about the initiative can be emailed to MedicareSettlementFAQs@cms.hhs.gov.