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Tip: Get ready for the new Medicare beneficiary cards and ID numbers



March 22, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Practice Management 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing new identification cards to California Medicare beneficiaries between April and June 2018, as required under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The new cards will contain a unique, randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identification (MBI) number replacing the current Social Security-based number.  


CMS will allow a 21-month transition period beginning April 2018, where health care providers will be able to use either the patient’s current Medicare number or the patient’s new Medicare number.


CMS has developed a web page to help physicians navigate the transition to the new Medicare beneficiary identifier (MBI) number, including slides from the most recent CMS Open Door Forum on the transition. Physicians will be able to look up their Medicare patients’ new Medicare numbers through Noridian, the Medicare Administrative Contractor’s secure web portal starting in June 2018. Physicians should also talk to their practice managers and health IT vendors now to ensure their systems will be ready to accept the MBI.


New Medicare card: Video for your waiting room


To help inform Medicare patients the new Medicare Cards are coming, CMS has created a video for your waiting room. The video tells patients when and how they will receive the new card.


For more information, please visit www.cms.gov/newcard.

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