Recent data breach affecting 47,000 Medicare beneficiaries

Posted By: April Steger General,

CMS/Medicare has, in its current MLN Connects publication, notified physicians that because of a data breach affecting 47,000 Medicare beneficiaries new Medicare cards with new Medicare Beneficiary ID (MBI) numbers are being sent out. Additionally, because of a recent bout of fraudulent billings for unrequested COVID-19 tests, more beneficiaries may request new ID numbers. 

Consequently, physician offices should be prepared to ask their Medicare patients whether their ID numbers have changed.

Below is a copy of the notice from CMS, with active links.  These provide additional detailed information that offices may implement.

Your Patient’s Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) May Change

CMS sent letters to people with Medicare who may have been affected by a recent data breach. We’re mailing approximately 47,000 new Medicare cards with a new MBI to those affected. Learn what to do if your patient’s MBI changes. 

Ask your patient for their new Medicare card if you get “invalid member ID” when checking Medicare eligibility. Access your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s secure internet portal to use the MBI look-up tool if your patient didn’t get a new Medicare card yet.

Let me know if you would like any additional details.

Best to you,

Alexander Miller, MD, FAAD

CalDerm Coding & Reimbursement Chair