Get Ready for New Medicare ID Numbers

 In News

As if there aren’t enough changes taking place in medicine, here’s another one that physicians and patients will be grappling with: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is preparing to replace the current identification numbers of 60 million Medicare patients with new Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs), starting in April 2018. This changeover, required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), could increase claims denials as well as your staff’s workload, experts warn.

Congress included this provision in MACRA because it was concerned that the current Medicare ID number, which includes the beneficiary’s Social Security number, increased the potential for identity theft. To prevent this from happening, CMS will issue new Medicare cards that contain the MBI, an 11-digit alphanumeric code.

From April 2018 through the end of 2019, CMS will accept either the current number or the MBI on Medicare claims. Starting January 1, 2020, it will process only claims that bear the MBI.

Observers say that the transition to the new type of ID number could present a significant challenge to the industry. Here’s what the issues are, and how you should prepare to deal with them.

Read the entire article: Kenneth J. Terry. Get Ready for New Medicare ID Numbers. Medscape. Nov 30, 2016.

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