December 2019
New Medicare card transition ends in two weeks; use MBIs now to be sure you can be paid Jan. 1 and after
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services encourages all practices to update patients' records with their Medicare Beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) now, before you are busy with other patient insurance changes in January. The federal CMS has encouraged Medicare beneficiaries to carry their cards with them since the agency removed the Social Security Number-based number; if your patients do not bring their Medicare cards with them:

  • Give them the Get Your New Medicare Card flyer in English or Spanish.
  • Use the Novitas MBI look-up tool.
  • Check the remittance advice. Until December 2019, the federal CMS returns the MBI on the remittance advice for every claim with a valid and active Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).

Starting Jan. 1, you must use MBIs to bill Medicare regardless of the date of service:

  • The federal CMS will reject claims submitted with Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) with a few exceptions.
  • They will reject all eligibility transactions submitted with HICNs.

See this MLN Matters Article for answers to questions on using MBIs.
Bonus reading from the American Medical Association:
9 steps to welcoming the new Medicare card in your practice | Link
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AMA EdHub: Optimize Technology in Your Practice with AMA STEPS Forward™
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COQPP Coalition: December events and practice resources
Plan to join the Colorado Quality Payment Program (COQPP) Coalition for their final event of the year, Office Hours: Preparing to report for MIPS 2019 on Wednesday, Dec 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. MT | Link.

And here are the latest QPP resources for practices:
Plus, access the COQPP December Fast Facts here
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Take Credit Cards? Is Your Practice Ready for the Oct. 15 EMV Deadline?

Important! What your practice needs to know about switching to EMV: Click here.
AMA resource: Checklist for the transition to E/M office visit changes
The American Medical Association (AMA) is helping physician practices integrate fundamental changes to the coding and documentation of evaluation and management (E/M) office visit services. New Medicare office-visit coding and documentation guidelines are simpler and more flexible, but physician practices will need to prepare in the new year to get the full benefit of the burden relief the changes are designed to bring.  This 10-point AMA checklist and linked resources will help guide physician practices for a smooth transition to the simpler and more flexible guidelines. To learn more about these significant CPT code set revisions, visit the CPT E/M webpage. Additionally, the AMA has created an interactive educational module, a detailed description of the code and guideline changes, along with a table illustrating medical decision making revision to educate physicians practices.
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Payer issues: We want to hear from you!
CMS, with Colorado MGMA, is gathering intelligence for advocacy efforts
As we approach the upcoming legislative session, we need to hear from you concerning issues impacting your practice. In partnership with the Colorado Medical Group Management Association, the Colorado Medical Society seeks intelligence from practices on the "front lines." Please contact us at payerissues@cms.org with your payer issues.

And remember to use the members-only Know Your Legal Rights online catalog of provider protection statutes. It contains decades of public policy victories that may assist you in your dealings with payers. Make sure all of the physicians in your practice are members of the Colorado Medical Society so you have access to this great resource today!

*Accessing Know Your Legal Rights requires a CMS member login. Member physicians’ staff can obtain their own login by contacting Tim Yanetta at tim_yanetta@cms.org .
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