MACRA Update Regarding Removal of Social Security Numbers

CMS has announced that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare beneficiary cards by April 2019. A new randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

Moving to new Medicare numbers and cards requires a lot of changes to physician billing systems and how your office will do business. CMS has already started this work and anticipates a complete shift to MBIs by April 2018. At this time, CMS has announced there will be a transition period allowing physicians to use either the SS# or the new MBI to file claims. The new patient MBI will be 11 characters long and contain all numbers and uppercase letters. AMS advises physicians to start the conversation with your software vendor so there are no delays in billing. For more information on this change, visit the CMS website.