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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New CMS Medicare Cards

This blog was written by Marcy Marquis, CRCP-P.  Marcy currently serves as the President of the Wisconsin AAHAM Chapter.  She is a member of the Professional Certification Committee and contributes to the work that Certification performs.

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As many of us know, CMS is in the process of sending out new Medicare cards with the new ID numbers. Why is CMS issuing new Medicare cards and new Medicare numbers? The law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new Medicare number will replace the current Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards.  CMS is taking this step to protect people with Medicare from fraudulent use of SSNs, which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits.  CMS will start to send the new cards to people with Medicare. The mailings started in April of 2018.  Patients who are new to the Medicare program starting in April 2018 and later will only have a card with the new Medicare number.  As a facility, your practice management software and business processes must be ready to accept the new Medicare number (which we call the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI in official guidance) by April 2018 for transactions, such as billing, claim status, eligibility status, and interactions, with our Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) contact centers. There will be a transition period when you can use either the HICN or the MBI to exchange information.  The transition period is from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.

Please watch the CMS website for up to the date information.  CMS also has a schedule for the mails by state.

 

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