New Medicare Cards May Have QR Codes

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  • June 21, 2018
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New Medicare Cards May Have QR Codes

As Medicare patients start to present their brand-new Medicare identification cards, you might see something and wonder what you’re supposed to do with it – a QR code. Don’t let it confuse your staff.
Some Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) are putting them on members’ new cards, which replace older cards. The new cards replace the members’ Social Security (SSI) numbers with Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)  numbers. Beginning in April, the new cards are being mailed to Medicare beneficiaries through next year.  Federal agencies hope the new numbers will cut identity theft and fraud of the SSI numbers and protect personal health information.
But you don’t have to worry about the QR codes, which are those ubiquitous square codes you see in stores on products, on advertisements, and other places that with a simple click of your phone, links you directly to an informative website. The QR codes are being added to assure the correct cards are being sent to the right beneficiaries.  Neither your practice, facility, nor the patient need to do anything with the code on the card.
More information is available on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

Brad Ericson
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Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, is a seasoned healthcare writer and editor. He directed publishing at AAPC for nearly 12 years and worked at Ingenix for 13 years and Aetna Health Plans prior to that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

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