A federal judge in the District of Columbia has asked the American Hospital Association (AHA) for recommendations on how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can work its way through the Medicare billing appeals backlog.

As of June 2017, the Office of Medicare, Hearing and Appeals (OMHA) had 607,402 appeals pending with a current estimated wait time of three years for an administrative law judge to process a provider’s appeal. The backlog is predicted to reach 950,520 appeals by the end of FY 2021.

The judge suggested to AHA to provide the court with a list of recommendations to help with the backlog by June 22. HHS will have until July 6 to respond to the suggestions.