CMS Begins Transition to New Medicare Patient Identification Numbers

April 4, 2018

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to remove the Social Security Number (SSN) from Medicare cards and replace it with a new Medicare number that is unique to every person. CMS will distribute more than 60 million Medicare cards with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number between April 2018 and April 2019. Existing Washington residents are scheduled to begin receiving their new Medicare cards beginning June 2018. New Medicare enrollees as of April 1 will get the new cards at time of enrollment. To prepare for the transition to new numbers, providers and facilities should:

  • Get your practice management software ready to accept the MBI number.
  • For your existing Medicare patients, you can use either the HICN or the MBI during the transition period.
  • The MBI number is required after January 2020.
  • The new MBI does not affect your business processes related to ProviderOne for enrollees that are under Medicaid only, but is needed with ProviderOne for patients with dual coverage for Medicare and Medicaid.

More information is available on the CMS New Medicare Card webpage for providers. (Andrew Busz,


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