42 CFR § 423.2124 - Oral argument.
An enrollee may request to appear before the Council to present oral argument.
(a) The Council grants a request for oral argument if it decides that the case raises an important question of law, policy, or fact that cannot be readily decided based on written submissions alone.
(b) The Council may decide on its own that oral argument is necessary to decide the issues in the case. If the Council decides to hear oral argument, it informs the enrollee of the time and place of the oral argument at least 10 calendar days before the scheduled date or, in the case of an expedited review, at least 2 calendar days before the scheduled date.
(c) In case of a previously unrepresented enrollee, a newly hired representative may request an extension of time for preparation of the oral argument and the Council must consider whether the extension is reasonable.
(d) The Council may also request, but not require, CMS, the IRE, and/or the Part D plan sponsor to appear before it if the Council determines that it may be helpful in resolving the issues in the case.
(e) The Council cannot draw any adverse inference if CMS, the IRE, and/or the Part D plan sponsor decide not to participate in the oral argument.