Medicare Enrollment Applications Due

EMS providers that bill Medicare must complete their enrollment applications for 2012 before January 1. Failing to do so can result in the suspension of billing privileges for up to a year. Some rules regarding enrollment have recently changed. For example, providers must re-enroll every five years instead of every three years. Also, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now require that enrolling agencies pay a fee.


As an alternative to the paper (CMS-855) enrollment process, CMS has established an Internet-based service called the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). According to the website, PECOS supports the Medicare provider and supplier enrollment process by capturing provider and supplier information from the CMS-855 family of forms. The system manages, tracks and validates enrollment data collected in both paper form and electronically via the Internet.


In addition to enrollment, the PECOS site allows providers to view or update existing enrollment information, view the status of an application submitted to Medicare and voluntarily withdraw enrollment in Medicare. The site includes a lengthy FAQ section to assist providers. CMS says that the site is faster than paper-based enrollment (45 day processing time in most cases, vs. 60 days for paper).


The system requires an active user ID and password to log on. A user ID and password can be obtained via the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) / PECOS Identification and Authentication system (I&A).

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