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The scoop for ISMS practice management professionals

April 2018
In this Issue

  • Ensure You Are Legally Compliant if Handling Controlled Substances

    In a medical office, it may be your responsibility to safeguard, store or dispose of controlled substances. To make sure you are "up to snuff" with Illinois law, access ISMS' medical legal guideline on Controlled Substances – Office Practice

    This guideline also explains which employees should not have access to controlled substances in your office, and covers recordkeeping and inventory requirements to be compliant with federal rules. 

    Any questions? As a practice management professional of an ISMS member, you may contact the ISMS Legal Department with questions at 800-782-4767 ext. 6485 or send an email.

    If you wish to access this medical legal guideline and need to request a username and password as a practice management professional of an ISMS member, please contact us.

  • Change Coming for Part B Paper Remittances

    Do you receive Part B standard paper remittances (SPRs) via snail mail? 

    If you do, take note: Starting May 1, 2018, the mailing schedule will change from daily to weekly. (The only exception will be SPRs that include a hard copy check – those will still be mailed daily.)

    Is it time to switch to e-billing?

    National Government Services (NGS), the Medicare carrier for Illinois (as part of Jurisdiction 6), encourages practices to receive their remittances electronically. To sign up, complete the electronic data interchange enrollment form online: Start Enrollment Process.

  • Class Is in Session! Education Available at Your Desk (or on the Go)


    Welcome to the newly enhanced ISMS Education Center, offering on-demand courses related to medicine. Here’s a sampling of courses currently available: 

    All current courses are FREE to ISMS members and their staffs!

    Peruse the entire course catalog, make your choice and get ready to learn – all at a time and place convenient for you! 

  • It’s April: Some Medicare Patients May Hand You a New ID Card – with the MBI

    If they haven't already, Medicare patients may present you with the new Medicare card starting this month – featuring the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). 

    Ok – so what's the MBI? 

    Instead of the Social Security number-based identifier, known as the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), new Medicare cards will have an MBI. The reason? To help curb identity theft. 

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already starting its staggered mailing of the new beneficiary Medicare cards. For Illinois, CMS won't be mailing the new Medicare cards until after June 2018.

    So why do practices in the Prairie State have to be ready now

    Starting April 1, 2018, any patient who becomes newly eligible for the Medicare program will onlybe mailed ID cards with the new MBI. In other words, Illinois patients becoming of age for Medicare insurance during April, May and June of 2018 will find the new ID cards in their mailboxes – with the MBIs. 

    Therefore, medical practices must have a process in place now to accommodate new Medicare enrollees who will present an ID card with the new identifier. 

    During a transition period, CMS will accept both HICNs and MBIs on Medicare transactions from April 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2019. But starting Jan. 1, 2020, CMS will only accept the MBI. 

    Available in seven languages, access CMS' flyers, posters and tear-offs to help educate your patients about the new Medicare cards. 

    You may also contact ISMS’ advocacy team with questions by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by sending an email

    New Medicare ID Cards – Lila Explains


  • Browse Top Candidates, Find That New Hire!
    Career Center

    Tasked with filling a position in your practice?

    Rely on the ISMS' Career Center, a national online network where you can list open positions for physicians, health care workers and practice management professionals. 

    ISMS member offices receive the discounted rate of $115 to post a job opening for 30 days ($400 for non-members) and $175 for 60 days ($500 for non-members). 

    Start searching for your new team members today!

    Learn more about other ISMS Benefit Partners.  

  • Does ISMS Have Your Current Info? Planning a Move?


    To report address or email changes, simply send us an email with the new info or call us at 800-782-4767 ext. 1625.

  • April 28 is National Drug Take Back Day

    Get the word out to your patients about the next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 

    ISMS offers office posters promoting safe disposal and printable pocket cards (for best results, print to both sides and cut to size).

    Remember, it is unlawful for medical offices to take custody of a patient's prescription medication for the purpose of disposal – unless you are a licensed collector.

    Locate a convenient collection site for the April 28 Drug Take-Back day.

    New: The Illinois State Police will begin providing prescription drug collection receptacles – all year round! The receptacles will be placed at their district headquarters in Des Plaines, Elgin, Joliet, Collinsville and LaSalle. Learn more.

    If you need personal assistance, ISMS members and their practice management professionals may also contact our advocacy team with questions by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by sending an email.

  • It’s Time to Pre-Order Influenza Vaccines

    Pre-ordering influenza vaccines in the spring is the best way to ensure that your medical office will have the appropriate stock when the 2018-2019 flu season arrives. Manufacturers determine the quantity of influenza vaccine they will produce based on orders they receive at this time of year. 

    If your regular vaccine supplier hasn't reached out to you yet, be sure to contact them now.

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