By: Ilene MacDonald at Fierce Healthcare

CMS intends to replace all Medicare cards by April 2019.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is urging healthcare providers to take steps now to update their billing systems so they are ready when the agency sends new Medicare cards to beneficiaries that replace Social Security numbers with unique numbers.

The agency released the guidance (PDF) Thursday to help healthcare organizations and physician practices prepare before patients arrive with their new cards. The new cards will no longer use Social Security numbers and instead will feature a randomly assigned number known as a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The move is meant to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Read the entire article: Fierce Healthcare