3/20 New Medicare Card Call

On March 20, 2018 from 11am to noon Pacific Time, CMS will host a Special Open Door Forum to give providers an opportunity to ask questions about the New Medicare Card Project.  Use this call to get answers to your questions, so you are ready to accept the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier starting April 1, 2018.  For more information see https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.  Address questions to NewMedicareCardSSNRemoval@cms.hhs.gov.

Participation Instructions: participant dial-in number: 800-837-1935; Conference ID #: 4588156.  TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired; dial 7-1-1 or 800-855-2880.

A transcript and audio recording will be at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.html a few days after the call.

New Medicare Cards News

CMS has updated and expanded their NMC website for providers, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html to include information on how remittance advices with HICNs or MBIs will be handled.  They’ve also published an NMC Mailing Strategy document, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-Mailing-Strategy.pdf.  New cards will be mailed to Alaska, California, and Oregon between April and June 2018, and to Idaho, Montana, and Washington in July 2018 and beyond.

They’ve also published Guidance on how to talk to patients about their new cards, with suggested language to use to keep everyone on the same page and avoid confusion, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/New-Medicare-Card-Messaging-Guidelines-July-2017.pdf.  The NMC Overview web page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html has also been updated.

1/23 Medicare Card Training

On January 23, 2018, CMS will repeat the New Medicare Card Project Special Open Door Forum that they on November 9, 2017.  The Forum intends to introduce all Medicaid stakeholders to the MBIs (Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers) that will be replacing SSNs on the NMCs (New Medicare Cards) being issued starting in April 2018.  The session will cover background and implementation, MBI format, timeline and milestones, including the transition period, beneficiary outreach and education, and how to get ready for the new number.

The call will span 11am till noon PST.  Dial in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call to 800-837-1935; conference ID #: 8259057.  TTY services: 7-1-1 or 800-855-2880.  For more information on the NMC, see https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.  An audio recording and transcript of the November 9, 2017 presentation can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/Downloads/11092016PhysiciansODFTranscriptandAudioFile.zip.

1/25 CW Newsletters

The December 2017 and January 2018 CROWNWeb Newsletters have been posted to the CROWNWeb website at http://mycrownweb.org/news/newsletters/.

The January 2018 issue covers expected 2018 enhancements (including NMC MBIs, ultrafiltration data requirements, and EQRS consolidated reporting), death data cleanup, EDI data confirmation, user training (see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/1-4-cw-trainings/), and announcement of a January 25, 2018 Town Hall Meeting.  EDI data confirmation for September and November 2017 must be finished by January 21, 2018.

The December 2017 issue covered CROWNWeb news, software updates (including the Facility Dashboard and Ultrafiltration Data reporting), patient outreach, Understanding Roles and Scopes, and FEMA designated disaster areas.  Slides from the December 13, 2017 Town Hall Meeting can be found at http://mycrownweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/December_Town_Hall_508.pdf.

NMC Updates

CMS has added information to their web page for providers on the New Medicare Card (NMC) project to remove Social Security numbers and replace them with generic Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) starting April 2018.  Among other things, the new information includes:

  • The recommendation that providers sign up with your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s portal now, in order to test your processes before April 2018; see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/MACs-Provider-Portals-by-State.pdf for a list or portals and links.
  • New posters and handouts in English and Spanish that you can use to remind patients of what they will need to be aware of, and do, as the NMC conversion proceeds.
  • What to do if you treat Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries.
  • Links to past Open Door Forums and their accompanying educational materials.

The NMC Providers page with complete information can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html .

NMC Ombudspersons

CMS has announced the appointment of a Provider Ombudsman for the New Medicare Card, to serve as a resource for the provider community.  The Ombudsman will ensure that CMS hears and understands any implementation problems experienced by clinicians, hospitals, suppliers, and other providers, will communicate about the New Medicare Card to providers, and help to develop solutions to any implementation problems that arise.  To reach the Provider Ombudsman, contact: NMCProviderQuestions@cms.hhs.gov .

The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman and other CMS staff will address inquiries from Medicare beneficiaries and their representatives through existing inquiry processes.  For more information on the Beneficiary Ombudsman see https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11173.pdf and https://www.medicare.gov/claims-and-appeals/medicare-rights/get-help/ombudsman.html .