5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards

Posted in Developer Articles

Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Through this initiative the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of our Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS will issue new Medicare cards with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various CMS systems we use now. We’ll start mailing new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018. All Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019.

CMS is committed to helping providers by giving them the tools they need. We want to make this process as easy as possible for you, your patients, and your staff. Based on feedback from healthcare providers, practice managers and other stakeholders, CMS is developing capabilities where doctors and other healthcare providers will be able to look up the new MBI through a secure tool at the point of service. To make this change easier for you and your business operations, there is a 21-month transition period where all healthcare providers will be able to use either the MBI or the HICN for billing purposes.

Therefore, even though your systems will need to be able to accept the new MBI format by April 2018, you can continue to bill and file healthcare claims using a patient’s HICN during the transition period. We encourage you to work with your billing vendor to make sure that your system will be updated to reflect these changes as well.

Beginning in April 2018, Medicare patients will come to your office with new cards in hand. We’re committed to giving you information you need to help your office get ready for new Medicare cards and MBIs.

Here are 5 steps you can take today to help your office or healthcare facility get ready:

  1. Go to our provider website and sign-up for the weekly MLN Connects® newsletter.
  2. Attend our quarterly calls to get more information. We’ll let you know when calls are scheduled in the MLN Connects newsletter.
  3. Verify all of your Medicare patients’ addresses. If the addresses you have on file are different than the Medicare address you get on electronic eligibility transactions, ask your patients to contact Social Security and update their Medicare records.
  4. Work with us to help your Medicare patients adjust to their new Medicare card. When available later this fall, you can display helpful information about the new Medicare cards. Hang posters about the change in your offices to help us spread the word.
  5. Test your system changes and work with your billing office staff to be sure your office is ready to use the new MBI format.
We’ll keep working closely with you to answer your questions and hear your concerns. To learn more, visit:

SPA Executive Committee

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spa logo


President: Eugene Ollila, MD
President-Elect: (vacant)
Past-President: Marilyn Joseph, MD

At Large Members:

• Paul Hamann, MD
• Vincent Hunt, MD
• Miriam McCreary, MD
• Richard Pfohl, MD

SPA May 2017 Luncheon

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TCMS Senior Physician Association Spring Meeting

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
11:30 a.m. Social
12 noon Lunch
12:20 p.m. Program

Broadway Ridge
3001 Broadway Street NE
Conference Room D – Lower Level
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Guest Speaker: Bruce Snyder, MD

“Climate is Changing the Face of Disease”

$25.00 per person
Guests are welcome! To register yourself, choose Standard Rate, to register yourself and a guest, select "Guest" when registering - you both will be registered.

Register Now! 

Note: You will be redirected to an MMA page to register for this event

For questions or to register by phone, call Nancy Bauer at 612-623-2893

TCMS Senior Physicians Association Fall Meeting
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The fall meeting of the Twin Cities Medical Society’s Senior Physicians Association will be held on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Join your colleagues for conversation, lunch and dialogue with Minnesota’s Health Commissioner, Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, MSPH. Commissioner Ehlinger will speak on "The State of Health in Minnesota."

Broadway Ridge
3001 Broadway Street NE
Conference Room D – Lower Level
Minneapolis, MN 55413

11:30am Social/Gathering Time
12:00pm Luncheon
12:20pm Business Meeting followed by Guest Presentation

$25.00 per person
Guests welcome
Register online here* or contact Nancy Bauer at Twin Cities Medical Society at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 612-623-2893.

*Please note you will be redirected to an MMA page to register for this event.
To register yourself online, choose "Standard Rate".
To register yourself and a guest, select "Guest" when registering - you both will be registered.

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Contact TCMS

1300 Godward Street NE, #2000
Minneapolis, MN 55413
612.623.2885  •  Email Us