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
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