Turning Problems into Profits

Insurance Billing for Optometrists

Billing Services for Optometry

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013

OBS was the first billing company in the country dedicated solely to optometry, and we’ve remained the industry leader since our beginnings in 2005. With clinics in 40 states, we...

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Learn More About OBS

About OBS:  Turning Problems into Profits

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013

Optometric Billing Solutions was founded on a mission to help doctors regain financial control over their insurance billing.  Our team of over 80 experienced billing...

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Outsourcing Your Billing

Outsourcing: What You Need to Know

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013

Do you need help with your billing but have concerns about turning it over to an outside company?   You are wise to be cautious!  We get frequent calls from optometrists who have...

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Helpful Resources

Free Resources: Route Slip, Posters, Forms, Training Videos, etc.

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017

  Over the years OBS has developed resources and training tools for our clinics and are happy to share some of them here with our compliments to the optometric community.    ...

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Recent Posts

CAUTION: It’s the number zero, not the letter O!

One of our billers was so excited because she filed her first claims with the new 11-character Medicare IDs, but her excitement soon turned to disappointment when 14 of the 16 claims rejected.   It took a little research and a few calls to Medicare to discover the problem:  the office had entered the ID numbers with the letter O instead of the number zero!

In order to avoid confusion over letter and number look-alikes, the new IDs will NOT have the letters O, I, B, L, S, or Z.    So when you see that round character in the ID, type in the number zero and not the letter O! (Or 1, 8, 5, and 2, instead of I, B, S, or Z!)  Being careful to enter the correct ID will save us all of lot of time-consuming rejections!

Please remind your front desk staff to be asking patients if they have received their new Medicare cards yet.  Scan copies of the new cards and update the Medicare numbers in your software.  Medicare will allow us to file under both IDs through next year, but you’ll want to start updating your records now.   Also, when you type in the numbers, please enter the IDs without dashes even though dashes appear on the card.

New Medicare Cards with New Numbers

April 1, 2018–Important Medicare Changes Starting Now!

Beginning today and continuing throughout the next year, Medicare patients will be receiving new cards with new ID numbers.  In an effort to protect beneficiaries from identity theft, CMS is switching from social security numbers to 11-character IDs using both numbers and upper case letters.  Numbers will be generated randomly for each patient, and characters will have no assigned meaning.

Starting today, please make sure your front desk staff asks to see all cards from your senior patients.  If patients have already received their new card, take a copy and enter the new ID into your software, without the dashes.  If patients don’t have a new card yet, tell them that sometime during the next year they will be receiving a new card with a new number and ask them to bring  the new card to all appointments.  All Medicare patients will have new cards and numbers by April 16, 2019.

Railroad Medicare patients will also be receiving new cards. The new Railroad IDs don’t appear to be any different than traditional Medicare numbers, which could create filing issues since Railroad claims have to be sent to a different address.  Therefore, your front desk staff should be especially diligent to look for the Railroad logo on the top of the card or the “Railroad Retirement Board” notice on the bottom banner so they can enter these cards into your system as Railroad Medicare and not under traditional Medicare.

CMS knows that this will be a big change for both beneficiaries and providers alike,  Therefore, they will allow claims to be filed under either the old ID or the new ID until December 31, 2019 to give providers enough time to get their systems updated with the new numbers.  However, after this transition period is over, all claims without the new ID numbers will deny, so it’s important to start updating your software now!  Starting in June, CMS will also be providing a new lookup tool to assist offices in getting the most current numbers for their patients–but the easiest way is to get into the habit of asking patients for their new cards now!