Instructions for SNF Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage (SNFABN)

SNF Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage

Medicare requires SNFs to issue the SNF Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage to Original Medicare, also called fee-for-service (FFS), beneficiaries prior to providing care that Medicare usually covers, but may not pay for in this instance because the care is not medically reasonable and necessary; or considered custodial. The SNFABN provides information to the beneficiary so that s/he can decide whether or not to get the care that may not be paid for by Medicare and assume financial responsibility. SNFs must use the SNFABN when applicable for SNF Prospective Payment System services (Medicare Part A). SNFs will continue to use the ABN Form CMS-R-131 when applicable for Medicare Part B items and services.

Form Filling Instructions for SNF Advanced Beneficiary Notice

The SNFABN has 5 sections for completion i.e., header, body, option boxes, additional information, and signature & date.  Failure to use this notice or significant alterations of the SNFABN could result in the notice being invalidated and/or the SNF being held liable for the care in question.

Header

The header of SNFABN includes SNF information, patient name, and identification number. 

  • The SNF must include the SNF’s name, address, and phone number, at a minimum. A TTY number should be included when necessary to meet a beneficiary’s needs. Adding the SNF’s email address, additional contact information, and/or corporate logo is optional. 
  • SNFs must enter the first and last name of the beneficiary receiving the notice, and a middle initial should be entered if there is one on the beneficiary’s Medicare card. The SNFABN will still be valid if there’s a misspelling or missing initial, as long as the beneficiary or their authorized representative recognizes the name listed on the notice. 
  • Entering an identification number is optional, and the SNFABN is valid if this space is left blank.  SNFs may insert an internal filing number (such as a medical record number) that might help link the notice with a related claim. Medicare numbers (i.e., Health Insurance Claim Numbers) or Social Security numbers must not be listed on the notice.

Body

  • In the blank that follows “Beginning on…,” the SNF enters the date on which the beneficiary may be responsible for paying for care that Medicare isn’t expected to cover.
  • In the ‘Care’ section, the SNF lists the care that it believes may not or won’t be covered by Medicare. The description must be written in plain language that the beneficiary can understand. The care can be listed as “inpatient stay at this facility,” for example.
  • The SNF must give the applicable Medicare coverage guideline(s) and a brief explanation of why the beneficiary’s medical needs or condition do not meet Medicare coverage guidelines. The reason must be sufficient and specific enough to enable the beneficiary to understand why Medicare may deny payment.
    • Example: Beneficiary no longer requires skilled care but wants to continue residing in the SNF. The reason Medicare May Not Pay: You need only assistive or supportive care. You don’t require daily skilled care by a professional nurse or therapist. Medicare won’t pay for your stay at this facility unless you require daily skilled care.
  • In the “Estimated Cost” section, the SNF enters the estimated cost of the corresponding care that may not be covered by Medicare. The SNF should enter an estimated total cost or a daily, per item, or per service cost estimate. SNFs must make a good-faith effort to insert a reasonable cost estimate for the care. The lack of a cost estimate entry on the SNFABN or an amount that is different than the final actual cost charged to the beneficiary does not invalidate the SNFABN. 

Option Boxes

There are 3 options listed on the SNFABN with corresponding checkboxes. The beneficiary must check only one option box. If the beneficiary is physically unable to make a selection, the SNF may enter the beneficiary’s selection at his/her request and indicate on the notice that this was done for the beneficiary.  Otherwise, SNFs are not permitted to select or pre-select an option for the beneficiary as this invalidates the notice. 

Additional Information

SNFs may use this space to clarify and/or provide any additional information they think might be helpful to the beneficiary.  For example, SNFs may use this space to include:

  • information on other insurance coverage, such as a Medigap policy, if applicable;
  • an additional dated witness signature; or
  • other necessary notes.

Information in this section will be assumed to have been made on the same date the SNFABN is issued.  If the notes are made on different dates, include those dates in the notes. 

Signature and Date

The beneficiary or their authorized representative must sign the signature box to acknowledge that they read and understood the notice. The SNF may fill in the date if the beneficiary needs help. This date should reflect the date that the SNF gave the notice to the beneficiary in person, or when appropriate, the date contact was made with the beneficiary’s authorized representative by phone. If an authorized representative signs for the beneficiary, write “(rep)” or “(representative)” next to the signature. 

MedicalBillersandCoders (MBC) is a leading revenue cycle company providing complete medical billing services. We can assist you in receiving accurate reimbursement for your skilled nursing facility (SNF) from Medicare, Medicaid, and even private payers also. To know more about our medical billing services for SNFs, contact us at info@medicalbillersandcoders.com/ 888-357-3226.