Physicians are showing early success using the new identification cards that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) supplied to Medicare beneficiaries over the last year.
For the week ending Jan. 11, CMS says 58 percent of fee-for-service claims submitted by physicians and other health care providers used the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).
The MBI cards were designed to replace the former beneficiary ID cards, which used Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs). Practices will be able to use either the MBI or the HICN for beneficiary claims until Jan. 1, 2020, when the HICN is officially retired. But CMS is recommending that physicians now use MBIs for all Medicare transactions.
You can look up a patient’s MBI through your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s provider portal, or your patients can look it up for themselves through their MyMedicare.gov accounts.
The new MBI cards have been sent out to all beneficiaries, so if patients say they didn’t receive one, tell them to:
• Make sure they’ve opened any envelopes they've received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
• Sign into MyMedicare.gov to get their new number or print out an official card.
• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for help getting a new card.
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