Medicare transition update

September 23, 2013

September 16, 2013, marked the transition to the new Medicare Administrative Contractor, Noridian. In the first few days, the California Medical Association (CMA) heard about only minor problems with technology, including phone systems that went up and went down, a few issues with the online provider service tool and problems with printing of -PDF files from the Noridian website. Most issues have been resolved.

Traffic on the Noridian Provider Contact Center phone line is high, as expected. Wait times are sometimes four to five minutes, but practices report satisfaction with customer service provided. One of the most commonly asked questions has been around how to locate remittance advices. Unfortunately, this feature is not currently available on Noridian's online provider service tool (Endeavor). While this option was provided by Palmetto, it is not a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services required element.

Recognizing that this service provided by Palmetto was very popular with physician practices, Noridian is working to add that option to Endeavor in the coming weeks. In the meantime, practices can still access their remittance advices by mail or electronically through their clearinghouse or billing service.

Also Noridian has crosswalked the remittance advice remarks and messages as closely as possible to what Palmetto used for claim processing. However, there may be differences. If you encounter different or unusual messages, please call CMA at 213-226-0338 so we can work with Noridian on the issue.

Noridian provides one toll-free number (855-609-9960) for its interactive voice recognition (IVR) phone system and customer service representatives for all departments. Navigating the IVR to reach the department you need can be confusing. To reach areas such as provider enrollment, appeals, and reopenings, refer to the Provider Contact Center link under “Contact Us” on the Noridian website. Noridian also provides an IVR Guide, which can be found in footer box under Contact.

Noridian released claims submitted on and after September 12 on the evening of September 16. It may be two weeks or so before we know if there are any issues affecting payment. CMA encourages practices to review their remittance advices carefully looking for unexpected denials or rejects and for payment differences as the claims start to settle and to let CMA know of any issues that arise. We will work with Noridian to resolve issues as needed.

For additional information about the transition, see CMA’s "Medicare Transition Guide: What physicians need to know," available on in CMA's online resource library.

Contact: Michele Kelly, (213) 226-0338 or mkelly@cmadocs.org.


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