HICN stands for Health Insurance Claim Number which is a number assigned to Medicare recipient as an identifier in their cards. The problem with HICN is that the same is based on the participants’ Social Security Number which in the past has been misappropriated and used in fraudulent schemes.
The answer to this problem came under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in the form of new cards and identifiers for Medicare Recipients. The new identifier will be known as the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and Medicare will start the role out in April 2018.
MACRA requires that this change be made by April 2019 so Medicare Beneficiaries and Providers will have plenty of time to adjust to the new identifier and update their system as needed. In fact, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be instituting a 21-month transition period where Provider will be able to use the HICN or the MBI without any issues.
When considering all the other issues we have in the table this is not a big deal but it does prove the point that things will continue to change and that it is important to stay tuned.