Medicare ID Cards: Proactive vs Reactive

June 11, 2018
By DIANE DESANTIS

I have given much thought as to how Physician practices can relieve the anticipated stress, work overload and revenue reduction that potentially will be caused by the change in patient Medicare ID numbers.

Since I believe that the affected population may have some difficulty in providing the new numbers to the practices, especially if coming in for a sick visit or procedure, I am strongly suggesting that ALL offices begin the education process now.

Some steps to follow:

  1. With each interaction with the patient, either by scheduling or confirming an appointment, by telephone or in person, reminding them of the new number coming and the extreme importance of bringing the new card to the next appointment.
  2. Create signage for waiting and exam rooms with examples of the new card.
  3. Send notices in any bill or correspondence going out of the office now to patients.
  4. Note the upcoming number change on your website, newsletters, blogs or any form of media you use.

The downside of note being proactive will result in your billing staff, if in-house, spending time on the Medicare website for every new number. If your billing is outsourced, the same time element is applicable to that staff, resulting in either case in a slow down of revenue.

There will be a grace period for submitting the old numbers, but as we all know, time passes more quickly than anticipated and once Medicare shuts down the old numbers, you don’t want to scramble for the new ones.

Need help with the transition? Contact us today!

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