42 CFR 423.2044 - Consolidated hearing before an ALJ.
(a) A consolidated hearing may be held if one or more of the issues to be considered at the hearing are the same issues that are involved in another request for hearing or hearings pending before the same ALJ.
(b) It is within the discretion of the ALJ to grant or deny an enrollee's request for consolidation. In considering an enrollee's request, the ALJ may consider factors such as whether the issue(s) may be more efficiently decided if the requests for hearing are combined. In considering the enrollee's request for consolidation, the ALJ must take into account the adjudication deadlines for each case and may require an enrollee to waive the adjudication deadline associated with one or more cases if consolidation otherwise prevents the ALJ from deciding all of the appeals at issue within their respective deadlines.
(c) The ALJ may also propose on his or her own motion to consolidate two or more cases in one hearing for administrative efficiency, but may not require an enrollee to waive the adjudication deadline for any of the consolidated cases.
(2) For expedited hearings, any request by CMS to participate must be made within 1 calendar day of receipt of the ALJ's notice of the consolidation. Requests may be made orally or submitted by facsimile to the hearing office.
(e) If the ALJ decides to hold a consolidated hearing, he or she may make either a consolidated decision and record or a separate decision and record on each issue. The ALJ ensures that any evidence that is common to all appeals and material to the common issue to be decided is included in the consolidated record or each individual record, as applicable.