ASCRS and Medical Community Recommend CMS Move Cautiously to Remove Social Security Numbers from New Beneficiary Cards

ASCRS, the American Medical Association, and 86 other medical organizations sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing concern over the agency’s Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 included a provision requiring CMS to remove the Social Security Number (SSN) from Medicare cards due to concerns of identity theft. However, CMS’ initiative has the potential to significantly disrupt patient care and physician payment as practices would be unable to obtain the Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) for a patient who arrives at an appointment without a new Medicare card. In the letter, we also expressed concern regarding confusion among beneficiaries when receiving the new MBI card, lack of communication with practices regarding the distribution of new cards, and insufficient industry education and preparation. We will keep you updated.