HPS has given you a couple of updates on the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) cards over the past few months and we continue that update today. Following are more questions answered about the new Medicare numbers and how that will affect your agency:

Key dates to remember:

April 1, 2018 – Patients will begin to receive new Medicare cards and agencies should begin the process of asking the patient for their new cards, at Start of Care and at any Recertification at a minimum.

June 2018 – beginning in June 2018 agencies will be able to login to the Medicare MAC secure portal and with the patient’s first & last name, date of birth and SSN you will be able to retrieve the patient’s new MBI.

April 1, 2018 – December 31, 2019 – Transition period for claims processing and status. During this time all claims can be sent in for payment processing with either the HICN or the new MBI. You will not be able to submit BOTH identification numbers in the same transaction/claim. After this transition period, all claims will be required to have the new MBI only on the claim. Claims inquiry will also follow this timeframe.

October 2018 – beginning in October, when you submit a claim using the HICN the system will return the HICN and the new MBI on every remittance advice during the transition period.

How many digits will the new number have and will they be random?

The new Medicare numbers Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) will be an alpha-numeric combination that will exist of up to 11 digits. These 11 digits will be randomly generated.

Is there a specific format?

Key things to do to begin preparing for the new MBIs in your agency:

  • Discuss the ramifications of the MBIs being used in your agencies current software system.
    • Patient eligibility verification
    • Clinical documentation including OASIS
    • Claims processing
    • Cash posting – especially if system electronically posts cash
  • Educate your staff on this change:
    • Intake/Authorization Staff
    • Clinicians that complete OASIS & Care Plans
    • Billing Department
  • Begin testing the OASIS transmissions and claims processing as soon as you begin receiving the new MBIs for patients.