42 CFR § 1005.20 - Initial decision.
(a) The ALJ will issue an initial decision, based only on the record, which will contain findings of fact and conclusions of law.
(b) The ALJ may affirm, increase or reduce the penalties, assessment or exclusion proposed or imposed by the IG, or reverse the imposition of the exclusion. In exclusion cases where the period of exclusion commenced prior to the hearing, any period of exclusion imposed by the ALJ will be deemed to commence on the date such exclusion originally went into effect.
(c) The ALJ will issue the initial decision to all parties within 60 days after the time for submission of post-hearing briefs and reply briefs, if permitted, has expired. The decision will be accompanied by a statement describing the right of any party to file a notice of appeal with the DAB and instructions for how to file such appeal. If the ALJ fails to meet the deadline contained in this paragraph, he or she will notify the parties of the reason for the delay and will set a new deadline.
(d) Except for exclusion actions taken in accordance with § 1001.2003 of this chapter and as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, unless the initial decision is appealed to the DAB, it will be final and binding on the parties 30 days after the ALJ serves the parties with a copy of the decision. If service is by mail, the date of service will be deemed to be 5 days from the date of mailing.
(e) If an extension of time within which to appeal the initial decision is granted under § 1005.21(a), except as provided in § 1005.22(a), the initial decision will become final and binding on the day following the end of the extension period.