News & Press: Advocacy

SIS Expresses Concern About CMS’ Plan for Implementing the Social Security Number Removal Initiative

Friday, May 12, 2017  

On May 11, 2017, the Spine Intervention Society, along with dozens of other state and national medical specialty organizations, signed on to a letter to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expressing concern about plans to implement the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI).

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 included a provision requiring CMS to remove Social Security Numbers (SSN) from Medicare cards due to identity theft concerns. The process CMS has developed to implement this requirement is referred to as the SSNRI.

CMS currently uses a Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), based on an individual’s SSN, as a patient’s Medicare beneficiary identification number. To implement the SSNRI, CMS will create new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) to replace the HICN on beneficiary identification cards. As the letter explains in more detail, we are concerned about a provider’s inability to access a patient’s MBI both during and following the transition period, which may significantly disrupt patient care and physician payment. Click here to read the letter.

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