42 CFR § 405.1000 - Hearing before an ALJ and decision by an ALJ or attorney adjudicator: General rule.
(a) If a party is dissatisfied with a QIC's reconsideration, or if the adjudication period specified in § 405.970 for the QIC to complete its reconsideration has elapsed, the party may request a hearing before an ALJ.
(b) A hearing before an ALJ may be conducted in-person, by video-teleconference (VTC), or by telephone. At the hearing, the parties may submit evidence (subject to the restrictions in § 405.1018 and § 405.1028), examine the evidence used in making the determination under review, and present and/or question witnesses.
(e) If all parties who are due a notice of hearing in accordance with § 405.1020(c) waive their right to appear at the hearing in person or by telephone or video-teleconference, the ALJ or an attorney adjudicator may make a decision based on the evidence that is in the file and any new evidence that is submitted for consideration.
(f) The ALJ may require the parties to participate in a hearing if it is necessary to decide the case. If the ALJ determines that it is necessary to obtain testimony from a non-party, he or she may hold a hearing to obtain that testimony, even if all of the parties who are entitled to a notice of hearing in accordance with § 405.1020(c) have waived the right to appear. In that event, however, the ALJ will give the parties the opportunity to appear when the testimony is given, but may hold the hearing even if none of the parties decide to appear.
(g) An ALJ or attorney adjudicator may also issue a decision on the record on his or her own initiative if the evidence in the administrative record supports a fully favorable finding for the appellant, and no other party to the appeal is liable for the claims at issue, unless CMS or a contractor has elected to be a party to the hearing in accordance with § 405.1012.
(h) If more than one party timely files a request for hearing on the same claim before a decision is made on the first timely filed request, the requests are consolidated into one proceeding and record, and one decision, dismissal, or remand is issued.