Physicians are reminded that December 31, 2019, is the last day to make changes to their Medicare participation status for 2020 as well as to finalize the transition to the new Medicare Beneficiary Identification (MBI) number.

Physicians wishing to make changes to their Medicare participation status for the 2020 participation year must send a letter to Noridian, California’s Medicare contractor, postmarked by December 31, 2019. Physicians can select one of three participation options: Be a participating provider; be a non-participating provider; or opt out of Medicare entirely. Providers participation (or non-participation) status will remain in effect through December 31 of each year and will renew automatically for the next 12-month period unless the provider makes changes during the annual enrollment period (mid-November through December 31).  For more information, please visit the Noridian enrollment website.

The transition period to the new Medicare Beneficiary Identification (MBI) numbers will also end on December 31, 2019., Beginning January 1, 2020, providers must use only the new MBI number for Medicare transactions regardless of the date of service. Physicians not already utilizing the MBIs must immediately verify their practice management systems are ready to accept and begin utilizing the new MBI numbers. 

To help physicians navigate the MBI transition, CMS has developed a webpage where healthcare providers and office managers can get more information about the transition to MBIs. 

The California Medical Association also recently hosted a webinar that covers changes to the Medicare program for 2020 and offer tips to ensure practices are complying with Medicare requirements. The free webinar — Medicare Changes: What physicians need to know about 2020 changes to audits and reimbursements and other updates — is now available for on-demand viewing.

Contact: Cheryl Bradley, (213) 226-0338 or cbradley@cmadocs.org.

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