Aetna sent out the message below last week so I thought I would pass it on.
June 28, 2019
We’d like to let you know that incomplete and erroneous electronic Coordination of Benefits (COB) claims submissions are resulting in processing and payment delays.
Incomplete and erroneous COB submissions have significantly affected our claims auto-adjudication process and has resulted in delayed payments while waiting for additional information from a billing provider or billing vendor.
We’ve noticed an increase in the number of electronic claims submitted with a “Y” response in the COB indicator field.
Optum will be shutting down from May 17th at 5:00 pm to May 19th at 11:59 pm cst. They are moving their internal data center and won’t be accepting any electronic transactions during this time. 837 and 835 files submitted during this time will be held and processed once the data center is functional. Eligibility, claim status, and notification of admission requests will be unavailable until Sunday the 19th. This includes transactions through vendors as well as transactions submitted directly on their portal.
If you aren’t using Optum directly, there’s a high likelihood that your clearinghouse is connecting to them in some way- especially for UHC transactions. If your vendor hasn’t made some type of announcement, it would be wise to reach out to them to see if this will affect them.
Anthem Shutting Down Direct Connections
Anthem will be shutting down access to their direct connections this week. Previously vendors had the option to connect to Anthem directly versus connecting to them via a clearinghouse. Several years ago, Anthem selected Availity to be manage their portal and be their vendor of choice and requested that all vendors move to connectivity through Availity. On May 15th, Anthem will be shutting down any means of connecting to them directly for 27X transactions (eligibility, claim status, etc). I’ve copy their latest announcement below.
Subject: Attention REAL-TIME SUBMITTERS – Immediate Action Required – Reminder
Attention REAL-TIME SUBMITTERS
Immediate Action Required
If you currently submit 270, 276 or 278 transactions directly to Anthem or one of its affiliate companies, it is imperative that you transition to Availity.
If you are using any of the below URLS, and do not migrate by 5/15/2019, you will experience service disruption for your Real-Time transactions.
To avoid a service disruption, you must contact Availity today at 800.282.4548 or visit their website at www.availity.com for additional information./05/06
CMS installed the following changes on 4/6 to their Medicare eligibility transaction.
CMS will only provide ESRD information if the service type RN (Renal) or CQ (Case Management) are sent in the request. Previously it was returned with service types 14 ( Renal Supplies in the Home or 15 (Alternate Dialysis Method). They will also only be returning the information if the dates of service requested intersect a segment of ESRD coverage. Another change is that CMS will no longer return the dialisys method code or the method start date. They will return the information below when applicable:
New Preventive Service HCPCS Code for Hepatitis B Screening
CMS will now support inquiries for a Hepatitis B Screening when HCPCS code G0499 is requested. They will return the next eligible date when this code is sent in the request.
Smoking Cessation Response Changes.
In the past, CMS returned either the smoking cessation next eligible date or the number of base and remaining sessions available for a current cessation period. They also returned all cessation periods that overlapped the dates of service in your request. Effective with this release, the HETS 271 response now only returns the most recent smoking cessation period. They also no longer return the date the beneficiary is next eligible to receive the benefits.
If the Medicare Beneficiary has actual smoking cessation/counseling benefit usage within the previous 12 months (based on the HETS 270/271 system date), HETS will return the following smoking cessation/counseling information:
If the Medicare Beneficiary has zero smoking cessation/counseling benefit usage within the previous 12 months (based on the HETS 270/271 system date), HETS will return the following smoking cessation/counseling information:
Aetna will be making the changes below to their eligibility response on February 8th. Pay particular attention to the first one. If your eligibility vendor hasn’t changed their system to stop allowing member ID searches without a DOB, you’ll get a DOB error.
CMS sent out the announcement below on 12/7/2018 regarding the phasing out of the Common Working File for eligibility. It’s taken 6 years but CMS finally feels they have data parity between their X12 eligibility solution and the common working file. The phase out is scheduled to begin in Summer 2019.
In December 2012, CMS announced plans to discontinue the Common Working File (CWF) beneficiary health insurance eligibility transactions (MLN Matters® Special Edition Article SE1249). In that same article, CMS also announced the HIPAA Eligibility Transaction System (HETS) would be the single source for this data. CMS subsequently delayed this effort based on feedback about the differences in data returned between the two systems and the one-year limit to HETS historical search capability. CMS resolved these issues and is moving forward to phase-out the CWF beneficiary health insurance eligibility transactions. This will address inefficiencies of maintaining two different systems returning the same data.
Beginning in the summer of 2019, CMS plans to terminate access to CWF eligibility queries for those who already utilize HETS. If you currently use both CWF and HETS to get Medicare beneficiary health insurance eligibility information, you should immediately begin to use HETS exclusively.
Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many of you are still using the CWF for eligibility? If you’re still using it, I would love to know why in the comments.