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:
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.
On November 1, 2016 CMS will hold an Open Door Forum conference call on the removal of Social Security Numbers from Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN). HICNs will be replaced by randomly created Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) starting in 2018. For more information see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/mbi-replaces-hicn/ .
The call well be held at 11am PDT, 800-837-1935, conference ID 98745631. For TTY services, dial 800-855-2880. CMS requests that participants dial in at least fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time.
CMS has also advised that between now and 2018, all patients and facilities should make sure that their mailing addresses are kept current. MBIs will be mailed to patients, and facilities will have to ask patients for their MBI. Patient addresses in the Medicare, SSA, and CROWNWeb databases should all agree, with a correct and complete address to which the US Postal Service delivers.
Over the next three years, CMS will replace their traditional Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) patient identifiers with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). New Medicare Cards will be sent to all Medicare beneficiaries starting in April 2018, and all providers will be expected to have modified their software to accept MBIs by then. Between April 2018 and December 2019, either the HICN or the MBI will be accepted by CMS. After December 2019, the HICN will no longer be accepted.