If your Medicare patients haven’t come to you asking about their new card yet, just wait. The flood gates are about to open.
Medicare will start to ship new patient ID cards on April 1st. Each card will include a unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number. This is the number that Medicare will expect you to use when you bill them for payment, instead of using patient Social Security Numbers like you do now.
You should approach this changeover carefully. You must get everything just right to keep your reimbursement coming in. Here are a few tips that will help you more accurately implement Medicare’s new ID system:
- Vendors: If your practice uses an outside vendor, it is imperative to confirm that their system is ready for the new cards.
- Get MBI: After April 1st, begin asking your Medicare patients if they’ve received their new card. If you don’t ask, they may not show it to you.
- Confirm address: Take the time to verify Medicare patient address records are correct. Without the correct address, your patients will not receive their new card.
- Update Info: This is also a great opportunity to confirm other essential patient information in your system (correct spelling of first and last name, date of birth, social security number, etc.).
- Training: Ensure your staff are prepared to help confused and worried patients. Insurance is confusing enough without adding this massive change.
Although utilizing the above tips will certainly help you better implement MBIs, this is only the starting point. To get a handle on the entire picture, an online training session was presented by Medicare billing expert Dawn R. Cloud, CPC, CMSCS, CHCI, CPOM, and is available for immediate download.