Happy Tuesday all. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about how every part of our lives had been changed by Covid-19. Everything from church, to work, to how we socialize with friends has been completely upended in a short period of time. These are crazy times.
My company recommended that we start working from home until further notice. This started me thinking about what other employers are doing so I figured I would ask. How has the Covid 19 pandemic changed your workplace? I know that many of you are on the front lines at doctor’s offices and hospitals. What has your facility or office changed to keep you safe and reduce the chances of exposure? Leave our responses in the comments.
CMS will have their Q1 release on Saturday March 14th. This is a relatively small release but there is one change in particular that I wanted to bring to your attention. Currently CMS returns the next eligible date for the Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccination (PPV) and booster (90670 and 90732) if you specifically request them. On 3/14, CMS will be removing that information from their eligibility response temporarily. They’re planning to change the way they return that benefit and will add it back to the response at some point in April.
When it’s added back to the response next month, they will return the dates of the last 10 times these services were provided to the beneficiary. They will also be returning the NPI of the provider that rendered the service. They haven’t released the date it will be returned to the response but said it will be “early April”.
CMS will also be migrating to a more reliable and stable processing environment that should improve any slowness or downtime you currently experience.
They will also be changing the way they require clearinghouses to “enroll” NPIs to get access to the eligibility transactions. Unless you’re a large trading partner/clearinghouse that sends batches, this shouldn’t affect you.
Happy December everyone. Below are a few things that have crossed my desk recently that I found particularly interesting so I wanted to share. If you’ve run across any interesting articles lately, feel free to share them in the comments.
UHC to Open Medicare Centers in Walgreens
Humana to Layoff 800 employees by the end of 2019
UHC Faces CMS Sanctions on Medicare Advantage Plan
Priority Health and Total Healthcare to Merge
Anthem Suing Federal government for $100 Million in ACA payments
North Carolina Suspends 2/1/2020 Managed Medicaid Implementation
Good morning and happy November. As 2019 draws to a close, CMS as finally given a date for starting to get of HIQA, HIQH, ELGA and ELGH. They sent out the announcement below on 11/1. It sounds like they’re starting with clearinghouses first and will trickle down to everyone else later. I’ll pass on information on this as it becomes available.
” CMS will begin revoking access to Common Working File (CWF) eligibility transactions HIQA, HIQH, ELGA and ELGH effective February 1, 2020. Submitters that aggregate transactions for otherwise disparate providers (e.g., clearinghouses, billing services, software vendors, etc.) and have both HETS and CWF based eligibility access should use HETS exclusively.
CMS will remove HIQA/HIQH/ELGA/ELGH access for these submitters by revoking role-based access for specific CMS RACF IDs. CMS will revoke access starting with high-volume aggregators. Aggregators that use both HETS and CWF based eligibility should assume they must use HETS only no later than February 1, 2020.”
As we wrap up Q3, I’m seeing an increase in questions about the MBI and using it on Medicare eligibility questions. I suspect this is because the transition period for using the HICN or the MBI is coming to an end. Beginning January 1st, 2020 you will no longer be able to use the HICN for eligibility or claims (with a few exceptions).
One of the complaints I’ve seen is that HETS is returning errors in some cases when eligibility is searched using the MBI that’s on the card. I’ve heard that it’s possible the beneficiary’s MBI may change from the one that was originally issued. I’m validating this with CMS and will get back to you on what I find out. The majority of the problems I’ve seen with the MBI have been user keying errors so please make sure you’re keying exactly what’s on the card. If you still haven’t gotten access to the Medicare MBI lookup tool, I highly suggest that you sign up before the end of the year. If you’ve been using it, please leave me a comment and let me know what your experience has been.
Below is a list of exceptions that CMS has published for still using the HICN. I wasn’t aware of most of these so I thought I would pass them along.