Preparing for the New Medicare Card Replacement Initiative
Starting April 2018 the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) will be changing how Medicare beneficiaries are identified. This new initiative is focused on combatting identity theft by removing any reference to client’s Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards. The new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace recipient’s existing SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) and the MBI will be used for all Medicare transactions including eligibility status, claims, and billing. CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards to active beneficiaries in April 2018. As per CMS guidance, all associated programmatic changes must be made before October 2017 in order to allow a sufficient testing window prior to the April 2018 issuance of new Medicare cards.
Make a Smooth Transition With AccuMed™ Behavioral Health EHR
There are several issues care providers are faced with when implementing a major system conversion, this time to replace the Medicare Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) with a new Medicare Beneficiary identifier (MBI).
- Compliance -The first concern is meeting the necessary system requirements. This entails upgrading management/billing software early enough to begin testing to ensure your system functions properly.
Fortunately for current Accumedic clients, the updates are available now and the necessary guidelines can be downloaded from their client portal. Tech support representatives are standing by and clients are urged to update and begin testing early in order to meet the upcoming CMS deadline.
- Workflow integration-Early adoption and testing is key here, as well as coordination between clinical and billing departments to identify any system and/or workflow issues that need to be addressed. One such issue could be the interim acceptance of both the existing HCIN and new MBI numbers. Until the transition to MBI’s is 100% complete (Dec. 2019) CMS will be accepting both numbers. Agencies should be prepared to incorporate the client id transition into their workflows to avoid possible disruptions to the continuity of care and delays of payment due to client id complications.
Through their client portal, Accumedic provides client agencies with guidelines for implementation, testing, and tips for avoiding common pitfalls to maintain consistent care delivery and reimbursement.
- Client Coordination-Since CMS has made the decision to NOT send the MBI numbers to providers proactively, caregivers are urged to educate clients about the new Medicare cards and remind them to bring the new cards whenever they receive treatment. Additionally, to avoid duplicate records and /or conflicting client information, agencies are advised to verify beneficiary’s addresses and identify anyone who needs to update their Medicare records.
AccuMed™ users can leverage their alert tools and create reminders for caregivers and clients to ensure the information can be updated and unnecessary disruptions to the care delivery process can be avoided. More helpful tips like these are available for current Accumedic clients, visit your client portal for more information.
The timeline for the HICN to MBI transition looks like this
- January 2018 – CMS will generate 150 million MBI, 60 million for active beneficiaries and 90 million deceased or archived beneficiaries.
- April 2018 to July 2019 – New and active enrollees will receive a new Medicare card with an MBI rather than a HIC number.
- April 2018 to December 2019 – Providers may submit claims with either the patient’s HIC number or the patients MBI.
By actively identifying key changes in the healthcare industry Accumedic continually provides the necessary tools and support to keep their agency partners compliant, effective, and successful. Current clients are urged to visit their client portal and download the Medicare Card Replacement guide (KB keyword MIB Replacement, PDF000019). for more information regarding the MBI transition or contact their local Accumedic rep.
AccuMed™ Behavioral Health EHR provides agencies with the innovative technology to easily adapt their workflow to the rapidly changing demands of today’s healthcare community. Learn more about our Mental Health EHR or schedule a live demo to find out more.