New Medicare Cards and Numbers - Top 5 Things You Should Know

New Medicare Cards 2018

In the coming weeks, CMS will start rolling out new Medicare numbers for each beneficiary. If you provide physical therapy services to Medicare patients, below are the top 5 things you should know.

  1. Medicare will start issuing beneficiaries new Medicare numbers on April 1, 2018. The transition to these numbers will occur over the next 1.5 years and during this time both the old and new numbers will be accepted by Medicare.
  2. You will not be able to decipher between a standard Medicare number and Railroad Medicare number simply by the ID. You will have to physically look at the card to determine what type of Medicare each beneficiary has.
  3. The new Medicare numbers will be auto-generated and will have a very distinct format. The new format will no longer contain personal identification information.
  4. HETS will start returning information to indicate whether the patient has been issued a new card. Starting October 2018, ERAs will include both the old and new IDs for each beneficiary.
  5. Intermediary websites will have a secure portal that can be used to look up the patient’s new Medicare number. The patient name, DOB, and old Medicare number will be required to conduct this search.

So in conclusion, we recommend that all physical therapy providers start requesting a copy of the most recent Medicare card issued to their patients anytime they are treated after April 1 st. While it is not imperative to collect and update this information for another year and half, it will make the hard cutoff date much easier if the legwork of collecting the new numbers is done in a proactive manner.

StrataPT will have all systems in place to support and validate both the old and new number during the transitional period. We will also continue to provide our physical therapy billing customers with real-time Medicare eligibility verifications for each Medicare beneficiary using both the old and new numbers.

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