What New Medicare Cards Mean for Your Practice

CMS is now using a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), which you’ll need to collect from patients for billing, eligibility status, and claim status.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will release new Medicare cards from April 2018 through April 2019. The biggest change is the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), which will replace enrollee’s social security numbers. The goals of this shift from SSN to MBI are to better protect patients’ personal information, to fight medical identity theft, and to improve the accuracy of federal healthcare benefit and service payments.

What impact will the shift from SSN to MBI have on your practice?

 Registration at healthcare facilities is often done quickly for speedy check-ins and shorter waiting room times. While this is good for waiting patients, it can negatively affect the accuracy of data collected for the billing process—creating a burden for revenue cycle staff who have to spend time tracking down accurate patient information.

With new insurance cards being sent directly to Medicare beneficiaries, you need to collect accurate and complete information from patients, including MBIs and current demographic data, or risk seeing an increase in insurance denials. 

Three ways your practice can ensure the accuracy of patient records

  1. Consider reaching out to patients and asking them to verify their correct mailing address with Social Security to ensure they receive their new Medicare card with their MBI.

  2. Access your regional Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) secure portal when verifying benefits and eligibility.

  3. Have all patients, even frequent visitors, verify the accuracy of their registration data. That way, you can be sure to collect their new MBI and update other demographic changes like address, marital status, and more.

 To learn how Rivet can help you improve the accuracy and completeness of your patient records, request a demo today.

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