Medicare has come up with a new revelation this time. It is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.
The initiative from Medicare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will help prevent the fraud, fight identity theft and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of the Medicare beneficiaries.
CMS will be issuing the new Medicare cards – MBI cards which will have a unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number both on the cards and in various CMS systems.
MBC the professional medical billing and coding company suggests practices take care of certain things with the new transition, explaining here.
How will this impact doctors and medical office managers’ billing and compliance services?
Currently, the new Medicare cards are already being mailed and distributed to recipients.
This means that cardholders will soon be visiting medical offices with their new cards, asking for further clarification about the changes, and seeking assistance for its use.
With this in mind, here are the top 3 ways that you need to take note to get new patients:
1. Eligibility Verification of the New Medicare ID Card
With the new card, one of the primary concerns that you will have to face will be verifying its authenticity and validity.
The new card shares the same white, blue and red color like the previous one. However, take note of the new Medicare Number and how it is comprised of uppercase letters and numbers alone. Thus, it is most important for doctors and medical office managers to learn how to identify a valid Medicare ID card from a fraudulent one.
This sounds simple, right? But wait a minute. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is more information pertaining to the patient’s screening process that has to be verified.
- Effective dates
- Benefits and calculations
- Administration, follow-up and plan execution
2. Synchronization of Benefits with the New Medicare ID card
The major change happening with the new Medicare ID card is the use of the MBI number. CMS is not expecting any other major changes aside from this unless there are disputes on an individual’s account.
Another issue you may encounter is – your patients not being able to receive their new Medicare ID card due to a change of address. How should you handle this, if they visit your office and continue to hand-over the old Medicare ID card?
To that end, doctors and medical office managers should be proactive and update their records. This is to easily and quickly claim their payment while avoiding unwanted mishandling of client records in the future.
3. Submitting medical claims using the MBI
The issuance of new cards was driven by a need to protect users from potential identity theft and fraud. This basically means that the new Medicare IDs will still require doctors and medical office managers to thoroughly process claims. It’s important, therefore, to ensure that the process and submission of these medical claims are accurate; otherwise, you will leave yourself vulnerable to payment delays.
To help you with this transition, you need to have an efficient medical billing and coding partner like MBC to handle new information, securely handle data, and manage operational efficiencies easily.