Agencies have about four months to ensure they submit all claims using new Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs). Providers will be required to use those MBIs on claims beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
CMS completed all seven waves of its mailings earlier this year, and the push to transition to the new MBIs is ongoing. The federal Medicare agency re-released an MLN Matters Article “to encourage providers to use MBIs now.”
Beginning in 2020 there only will be a few exceptions for when providers will be allowed to use HICNs on claims.
Take steps to ensure use of MBIs
- Ask patients for the new Medicare cards on the first visit. Examine identification to ensure the accuracy of their identification information. And ensure clinicians ask patients — if they don’t already — at every visit whether insurance information has changed since the last home health visit. Don’t wait to do this; it’s already important to know whether, for instance, the patients have switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
- Take advantage of tools from your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). Agencies can use their MAC’s look-up tool to get a patient’s MBI. Sign up for the portal to use the tool. Find your MAC’s portal information at https://go.cms.gov/2KhcCkG.
- Check remittance advice. CMS will return both HICNs and MBIs in remittance advice when an agency submits a valid and active HICN on Medicare fee-for-service claims until December 31, 2019. Save that MBI information for future use.
Related links: View the MLN Matters article at https://go.cms.gov/2ybwxLj.