As of January 1, 2020, Medicare will not accept claims unless they are submitted with an MBI. MBIs are the new Medicare patient ID numbers. MBI stands for Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. These numbers are replacing Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs), which were most commonly social security numbers.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is removing social security numbers as identifiers to help protect patient health information and reduce identity theft. It’s not a new initiative – CMS started issuing cards with MBIs in April 2018, and a congressional mandate was passed in April 2019 to remove social security numbers from Medicare cards as part of MACRA.

Here are some helpful reminders and strategies to keep in mind as your practice makes the transition:

Know the Format

Not sure if you’re looking at an MBI number or not? Here are the basics of MBI formatting.

  • Unique to each patient
  • 11 digits long
  • Contains numbers and uppercase letters
  • The letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z will NOT be used to avoid confusion with numbers
  • There are dashes in the MBI to make it easier to read, but they should not be entered for any transactions

Medicare Health Insurance Sample Card

CMS has an in-depth guide available that lays out the specifics of formatting. The numbers are deliberately randomly generated to be “non-intelligent” so they don’t have any hidden or secret meaning.

Save Those HICNs

Even though all claims from January 1st 2020 going forward must be submitted with an MBI, there are exceptions! Appeals and adjustments may be filed with the MBI or HICN. Some reports such as the Provider Statistical & Reimbursement Report and Accountable Care Organization reports will continue to use the HICN number. There are also fee-for-service exceptions for appeals, audits, claim status query, span-date claims, and incoming premium payments. If you have an HICN documented for your patients, be sure to keep that information documented along with their new MBI just in case.

Get Up-to-Date Insurance Information

For outpatients, ensure that staff are collecting the latest card information from patients at every visit. Eligibility tools should alert your staff when new cards have been mailed to patients. You can also sign up for the MBI lookup tool using your regional MAC portal.

If your practice rounds at the hospital or other facilities, using a software rounding solution can expedite the billing process. Quality rounding solutions offer tools to quickly and easily upload images of facesheets and insurance cards for reference later. When this is a standard part of the provider workflow it can save a tremendous amount of wasted time downstream.

Remind Your Patients

Incorporate language into your patient scheduling and reminder notifications that reminds patients to bring their insurance cards to every appointment even if they’ve been there before. CMS has a poster you can download and put on the wall if you haven’t already done so.

When you work in healthcare, it can feel like CMS is making changes every other week. HybridChart is a rounding software solution that is designed to be flexible and support practice needs during times of transition. Features like image/facesheet uploads and easy-to-use administrative tools help during those times when you need to make quick changes. You can even sign up to trial the tool for free using our Jump Right In™ program.

Meet EVOLVE by HybridChart – Our fourth generation software platform.

Take control of your entire workflow through a user-friendly solution created by a physician. Medical software too often fails to address the specific needs of providers. Rounding at one or more hospitals presents a unique challenge. There is the need for effective team collaboration and easy charge capture. Census management means true collaboration among provider and staff. Rounding at multiple facilities just got way easier.

Covering on-call now has the luxury of essential information for clean hand-offs.Charge capture takes less than five seconds. Diagnoses are easy to find and follow the patient. Customized charge menus make it easy to enter the correct charge. Don’t let billing for your work slow you down. Charge in real-time and focus on caring for the patient.

HybridChart has numerous levels of safeguards against missed charges. The Charge Checker feature will scan every day of an admission and assure there are charges. Using the Charge Matrix you have visibility of all charges from multiple providers per day for any given patient.

Most practices see a revenue increase of 8-10% after using HybridChart – attributed to capturing every charge for every patient. Charges are complex enough with just the diagnosis codes and charge codes. To make your charges accurate HybridChart allows you to easily adjust the Date of Service and assign Secondary Billers such as nurse-practitioners and physician assistants. Modifiers can be built into specific Billing Modules or choose from a customized list managed by your practice. Seamlessly navigate our Charge Capture workflow and save time without losing accuracy.

An automated charge capture system may be the most profitable investment that you can make in your practice today.

You can instantly boost your revenue by 10% using our modern, high-tech and easy-to-implement charge capture system.

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Smarter Rounding and Workflow Software for Doctors

At HybridChart, we provide technology that connects your healthcare team, increases efficiencies, AND improves your bottom line. HybridChart’s cloud-based software adapts to your practice’s unique workflow and will improve your profitability and patient outcomes by utilizing our 5 features:census managementcharge capturesecure messagingdischarge management, and data analytics.

NEVER miss another charge and get PAID for the work you do!

If you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level and want to employ the best hospital charge capture practice available in the industry, come visit our website at, or call us at 1-877-684-0608 for a demo today!

Kisha Crofts Author
Kisha Crofts is the Director of Product Management and Implementation at HybridChart. She has worked in medicine for over fifteen years, including roles in EMS, Cardiology, and clinical application management. She lives in Goodyear, Arizona with her family.
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