The Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) transition period is ending this week!  Effective January 1, 2020, all claims submitted to Medicare must be billed with the new MBI in place of the Health Insurance Claim number (HICN). 

As of January 1, 2020, any claim files submitted without the MBI, or with an incorrect MBI will reject on the 277CA claims acknowledgement report with a A7:164:IL (Invalid Information within the Subscriber’s contract/member number) before entering the claim processing system.

What steps should you take NOW?

  • Obtain the patient’s MBI. Ask your Medicare patients for their new Medicare card, use the MBI Lookup tool available in Novitasphere (free, secure internet portal), or check your remittance advice. The MBI will be returned on the remittance advice for every claim with a valid and active HICN until December 31, 2019.
  • Update your systems with the MBI and begin using it to submit claims.  Steps to update your systems are available here:
  • Ensure your billing service or clearinghouse has updated their records, and is submitting the MBI on your behalf.  Customers who utilize a third party biller may notice that a partial HICN and the MBI are appearing on the remittance advice. This means that although you may have provided the MBI to your billing service/clearinghouse, they are not using the MBI when submitting your claims. 

Important Reminders

  • Use the MBI Lookup tool in Novitasphere to obtain your patients’ MBIs! View our Novitasphere Portal Center to enroll today.
  • Remember, the MBI uses numbers 0-9 and all uppercase letters EXCEPT for S, L O, I, B, and Z.  This is to avoid confusion when differentiating between certain letters vs numbers like the number zero and the letter O.

Review this MLN Matters Article for additional information on using MBIs.

***Simply put, what this means to you is that your office needs to be checking the ID Numbers on your Medicare patient’s to make sure you are billing under their new MBI# and not their old number (SS# with a letter at the end) to avoid claim denials.***

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