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ASCENT is a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Provider Association Partner with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). MLN partners with national healthcare organizations to provide timely CMS news to their members, which you will see in the ASCENT eNewsletter, as well as, in other emails and on our website. This enhanced benefit delivers important updates directly to you as an ASCENT member! Below are MLN-provided resources. Check back for the latest information from CMS.

The Medicare Learning Network Homepage

latest News

1/30/19 cdc opioids training modules

Help stop the growing number of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Take these modules in a training series from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Applying CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids. Each module includes clinical scenarios, knowledge feedback prompts, and a resource library to help enhance learning:

View additional modules on the Interactive Training Series webpage. The modules offer free continuing education.

1/23/19 qualified medicare beneficiary billing requirements

Are you in compliance with Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) billing requirements? People with Medicare who are in the QMB program are also enrolled in Medicaid and get help with their Medicare premiums and cost-sharing. Medicare providers may not bill people in the QMB program for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, or copays, but state Medicaid programs may pay for those costs. Providers who inappropriately bill individuals enrolled in QMB are subject to sanctions.

Establish processes to routinely identify the QMB status of Medicare beneficiaries prior to billing for items and services:

States require providers to enroll in their Medicaid systems for claim review, adjudication, processing, and issuance of Medicaid RAs for payment of Medicare cost-sharing. Check with the states where your beneficiaries reside to determine the enrollment requirements.

Correct billing problems that occur. If you erroneously bill individuals enrolled in the QMB program, recall the charges (including referrals to collection agencies) and refund the invalid charges they paid.

For More Information:

1/16/19 new medicare card: transition period ends dec. 31

We are halfway through the transition period that began April 1, 2018:

  • To ensure your Medicare patients continue to get care, you can use either the former Social Security number-based Health Insurance Claim Number or the new alpha-numeric Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) for all Medicare transactions through Dec. 31.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, you must use the MBI on all Medicare transactions with a few exceptions.

About the MBI:

  • MBIs are random and use numbers 0-9 and uppercase letters, except for S, L, O, I, B, and Z. We exclude these letters to avoid confusion when differentiating between these letters and numbers (e.g., between “0” and “O”). Read MLN Matters® Article New MBI Get It, Use It for helpful information, including what to do if an MBI changes.
  • Learn about Getting MBIs.
  • Learn about Using MBIs.

If your patients accidentally threw away their new Medicare card, ask them to call 1-800-MEDICARE and request a replacement. Your patients can also sign into to print an official card. They must create an account if they do not already have one.

For More Information:

1/4/19 | Quality Payment Program: 2019 Resources

CMS posted new resources to help you prepare for the 2019 performance year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS):

For More Information:

Quality Payment Program: Webinar Library (Dec. 2018)

CMS moved Quality Payment Program (QPP) webinar resources to the newly redesigned QPP Webinar Library webpage. Search for the webinars and accompanying recordings, transcripts, and presentation slides by performance year, reporting track, performance category, and webinar type. For questions, contact or 866-288-8292 (TTY: 877-715-6222).


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