CMS has published an MLN Matters on “Transition to New Medicare Numbers and Cards” that summarizes the NMC program, progress, and expectations. Find it at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/MLN-Publications-Items/ICN909365.html .
CMS has unveiled the design for the new Medicare cards that will be mailed to beneficiaries between April 2018 and April 2019. For security, the new cards will not contain Social Security Numbers, but a randomly-assigned number instead. The old cards should be shredded or otherwise destroyed. For the CMS press release on the design of the new cards, see https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2017-Press-releases-items/2017-09-14.html .
The new CROWNWeb Newsletter is available at http://mycrownweb.org/news/newsletters/ . It includes articles on:
- Review of the first month of Facility Dashboard data and Dashboard enhancements
- New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI (which project CMS has renamed “NMC” – see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/new-medicare-card/)
- New ESRD QIP Reporting Deadlines
And announcement of an August 31, 2017 CW Town Hall Meeting.
CMS has renamed their Social Security Number Removal Initiative or SSNRI to New Medicare Card or NMC, and created three new web pages for it:
- Home page, https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html .
- Talking points, https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/New-Medicare-Card-Messaging-Guidelines-July -2017.pdf .
- For providers, https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html .
CMS has announced that facilities may need to change their healthcare records systems to:
- Accept the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI. Use the MBI format specifications at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html if you currently have edits on the current HICN.
- Identify your patients who qualify for Medicare under the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). You will no longer be able to distinguish RRB patients by the number on the new Medicare card. You will be able to identify them by the RRB logo on their card, and we will return a message on the eligibility transaction response for a RRB patient. The message will say, “Railroad Retirement Medicare Beneficiary” in 271 Loop 2110C, Segment MSG. If you use the number only to identify your RRB patients beginning in April 2018, you must identify them differently to send Medicare claims to the RRB Specialty Medicare Administrative Contractor, Palmetto GBA at https://www.palmettogba.com/palmetto/providers.nsf/DocsCatHome/Railroad%20Medicare .
- Update your practice management system’s patient numbers to automatically accept the new MBI from remittance advice (835) transactions. Beginning in October 2018, through December 2019, CMS will return your patient’s MBI on every electronic remittance advice for claims you submit with a valid and active HICN. It will be in the same place you currently get the “changed HICN”: 835 Loop 2100, Segment NM1 (Corrected Patient/Insured Name), Field NM109 (Identification Code).
If you use vendors to bill Medicare, contact them if they haven’t already shared their new Medicare card system changes with you; they can also tell you how they will pass the new Medicare number to you. The New Medicare Card Provider webpage at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html will provide the latest information.
CMS has provided a one-page summary on “5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards.” Find a copy at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/5-Things-What-to-do-Now-Drop-In-English.pdf?linkId=38944698 . Find background information at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Index.html .
CMS has announced several new resources to help facilities prepare for the conversion from Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN) to Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI), in order to remove Social Security Numbers from Medicare identifiers. The conversion is called the Social Security Number Removal Initiative or SSNRI. The resources include:
- The SSNRI home page – https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Index.html
- SSNRI implications for providers – https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Providers/Providers.html
- Information on the Transition Period – https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Index.html#target
Beginning in April 2018, CMS will start sending new MBI Medicare cards to all beneficiaries. It is recommended that facilities begin using the new Identifiers as soon as possible. A transition period, where providers can use either HICN or MBI to exchange data with CMS, will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018, and run through December 31, 2019.