New Medicare Card (formerly called SSNRI)

PUBLISHED: Jul 27, 2017
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Behavioral Health, Clinical Lab, Critical Access Hospitals, Dialysis Facilities, Home Health, Hospice, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Medical Office

As StayAlert! has previously reported, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) is removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to help fight identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars. In previous messages, CMS has said that health care providers must be ready by April 2018 for the change from the Social Security Number based Health Insurance Claim Number to the randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (the new Medicare number). Up to now, CMS referred to this work as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). Moving forward, CMS will refer to this project as the New Medicare Card.

Some actions that providers can take now in preparation of the New Medicare Card include:

  • Verifying all of your Medicare patients’ addresses. If the addresses you have on file are different than the Medicare address you get on electronic eligibility transactions, ask your patients to contact Social Security and update their Medicare records.
  • Begin to prepare your Medicare patients for their new Medicare card. As materials become available later this fall, display helpful information about the new Medicare cards. Hang posters about the change in your offices to help spread the word. StayAlert! will issue another notice when those materials are available.
  • Test your system changes and work with your billing office staff to be sure your office is ready to use the new MBI format.

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