• Time is running out to transition to new Medicare numbers

    The period during which you can use the old Medicare Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) will soon end. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, you must use Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) when billing Medicare, regardless of the date of service.

    On and after Jan. 1, Medicare will reject claims submitted with HICNs with only a few exceptions(www.cms.gov). Currently, when Medicare sends the payment for service, it is including the new MBI for your information. That practice will also end on Jan. 1. The only way to get the MBI after that date will be to collect it from the patient, or from your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s (MAC) secure web portal. If you don’t already have access to your MAC’s portal, sign up now at www.cms.gov (links for portals in each state are available here: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/MACs-Provider-Portals-by-State.pdf(www.cms.gov)).

    Medicare will also soon reject all eligibility transactions submitted with HICNs. Starting Jan. 1, eligibility will instead require the MBI. If the old HICN is submitted, it will return with “Invalid ID.”

    See the Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Matters Article(www.cms.gov) for more information on how to get and use MBIs. You may also want to check out the MLN Fact Sheet(www.cms.gov) on the transition to new Medicare cards and numbers.

    — Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment at the American Academy of Family Physicians

    Posted on Nov 13, 2019 by Kent Moore

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. Some payers may not agree with the advice given. This is not a substitute for current CPT and ICD-9 manuals and payer policies. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.