CMS Provides Additional Information to Help Practices Prepare for April 2018 Transition to New Medicare Cards Without SSNs

CMS is urging providers to prepare for a provision under MACRA that requires CMS to remove the Social Security Number (SSN) from Medicare cards due to concerns of identity theft. The new cards will use a unique, randomly assigned number, called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on the Medicare card. CMS will begin mailing new cards in April 2018 and is expected to replace all Medicare cards by April 2019. A transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018, and run through December 31, 2019, that will allow providers to use either the HICN or the MBI to file claims. More information about the Social Security Removal Initiative can be found here.