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All Medicare physicians must be using the new MBI number by Dec. 31

October 30, 2019
Area(s) of Interest: Practice Management Public Payors 


Physicians are reminded that the transition period to the new Medicare Beneficiary Identification (MBI) numbers will end December 31, 2019.  Beginning January 1, 2020, providers must use only the new MBI number for Medicare transactions regardless of the date of service.

The 21-month transition period, which began in April 2018, allowed health care providers to use either the patient’s current Medicare number or the patient’s new MBI for all Medicare transactions. While providers were allowed to utilize the old ID numbers during the transition period, beginning January 1, 2020, physicians will be required to use only the new MBIs for all Medicare transactions. 

Based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the state of California is  at or slightly below the national average of 66% for MBI utilization.

Physicians not already utilizing the new MBIs should immediately verify their practice management systems are ready to accept and begin utilizing the new MBI numbers. 

To help physicians navigate the MBI transition, CMS has developed a webpage where health care providers and office managers can get more information about the transition to MBIs. 

Noridian, the Medicare Administrative Contractor for California, has additional resources available on its website. Noridian is also hosting an educational webinar, “Using the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)” on November 14, 2019, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

To sign up for this webinar or other events of interest, visit the Noridian Schedule of Events

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