Udell Levy was sworn in last month as a judge of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals in Atlanta.
In his new role, he will decide disputes about Medicare entitlement, coverage and medical necessity. He said his main priority is to move along the backlog of more than 300,000 cases of people appealing Medicare. “People who have appeals in the Medicare system are waiting 1,000 days from the time the case is filed to the time they get a hearing.”
Levy, formerly of Louisville, Ky., has been a lawyer for nearly 40 years. He has more than two decades of experience representing injured workers.
He worked for the office of the public defender and served as a guardian ad litem, a court-appointed lawyer, for nearly 20 years in family court, where he advocated the interests of abused and neglected children.
Levy was an administrative law judge for the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims for two years, experience he said lends itself to his current position as he decided if injured workers were entitled to medical benefits.
While Medicare benefits are a big political hot potato, Levy personally believes, “In this country, everyone ought to have the right to reasonable and necessary health care. It’s not a privilege only to those who have the money to pay for it.”
In Louisville, Levy was also past chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Louisville. He said Louisville is very similar to Atlanta, a Southern city with an active and vocal Jewish community, although on a smaller scale.