What to Expect
Washington Apple Health


Prehearing Conference Process

What is a Prehearing Conference (PHC)?

This is a brief phone call with the judge and the HCA Representative.  This is to schedule your hearing.

You must participate in the prehearing conference.  Otherwise, your case may be cancelled (dismissed).

What is the difference between a PHC and a hearing?

A prehearing conference is not the hearing.  A PHC is typically short and you will not need witnesses. 

A hearing is when you get to present your case to the judge.  During the hearing you will tell your side of the case.  You may have witnesses talk.  The judge will discuss any documents you or HCA provided. 

Your notice will tell you if you have a prehearing conference or a hearing.  In the top right corner it will say “Notice of Prehearing Conference” or “Notice of Hearing.”

This notice also gives you the date and time of the prehearing conference or hearing. 

What do I need to know first?

OAH will mail you a Notice of Prehearing Conference.  It will include the date and time of the hearing.   

In many cases, the HCA is simply missing some information.  Contact the HCA Representative to see if your case is missing any information. 

You can call HCA at 1-855-623-9357.  You will also receive a letter from HCA with contact information.

You may be able to resolve some issues before the hearing.

How do I prepare for a phone PHC?

Your prehearing conference will be held over the phone. Please follow these guidelines for phone hearings:

  1. If using a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
  2. Try to have good, clear reception. If the judge cannot hear you, your case may have to be rescheduled.
  3. Be in a quiet location.
  4. Know your schedule.  The judge will schedule the actual hearing.
  5. Do not drive during the hearing.
  6. Do not multitask. The judge will expect your full attention.

How do I participate?

The prehearing conference will be held over the phone.  Read your Notice of Prehearing Conference right away.  Follow all instructions closely.  You must call on time. 

If the judge has not joined the call at 10 minutes after your start time, contact OAH at 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.

It is your responsibility to call in at the time of your prehearing.

How long will my PHC last?

Typically a prehearing conference lasts 30 minutes or less.

What happens at a PHC?

The judge will make sure that everyone understands what the hearing will be about.  You will agree on a date and time for the hearing. 

You will not tell the judge your side of the case and you do not need witnesses.  That will happen at the hearing.

What is a PHC Order?

After the prehearing conference, you will get a PHC order in the mail that confirms everything that was agreed on. 

What happens if I miss my PHC?

If you miss your PHC, the judge will send out an Order of Dismissal. This cancels your hearing.  If you still need your hearing, you must send a written explanation of why you missed your PHC.  In the Order of Dismissal, there is a Petition to Reinstate Appeal form.  Fill out the form and mail it to OAH.

Click to open the Petition to Reinstate Appeal form.

You have a limited time to do this.  Please look at your Order of Dismissal for instructions.

Once OAH receives your written request, a time will be scheduled for you to explain to the judge why you missed your PHC.  The judge will decide whether you had a good reason.  If yes, the judge will then hold your PHC. 

Can I change the PHC date?

You may be able to change the prehearing date if you have a good reason.  Contact the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) as soon as possible with your request.  The judge will decide if the date or time may be changed.  If your prehearing date changes, OAH will send you a new notice with the new date and time.

We may not have enough time to respond to a last minute request.  If you have not heard from OAH by the date of your prehearing, you must call in for your prehearing.