Is Your Billing Service Ready for 5010? It’s Your Cash Flow!

As part of the change to the 5010 version of the HIPAA transaction standards starting in 2012, practices will no longer be permitted to use a PO box or lock box address as the “billing provider” address to receive payments. For electronic claims, a street address or physical location is required as the billing provider address. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report that the PO box issue is one of the leading causes of test claim rejections. CMS has indicated it will reject Medicare claims that continue to
report a PO box in the billing provider address field.  

Under HIPAA, all physicians and other healthcare providers that submit claims electronically are required to transition to the Version 5010 transactions by Jan. 1, 2012. Practices that wish to continue having payments sent to a PO box or lock box must report this address in the “pay-to” address field.

Practice administrators should ensure that their practice management system vendor, billing service or clearinghouse has made this change. Practices must update their address information before Jan. 1 to prevent claims rejections and interruptions in cash flow.  Commercial payer are implementing the 5010 standards as well, so be ready to trouble shot the commercial payers claims denials or prepare for a significant cash flow impact.

Visit or the CMS Web site for more information on the change to Version 5010.

5 Most Common 5010 Transaction Rejections

After extensive testing of 5010 claims transactions with Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield and commercial payers, clearing houses have identified the 5 most common rejections that practices need to fix to insure that there claims will pass the new 5010 edits.

1. Billing Provider Address – Claims are rejecting because the field contains a PO Box or Lock Box address.

2. 9 Digit Zip Code – required for the billing provider. This can be obtained by going to the US postal services website.

3. Provider Accept Assignment Code – claims will be rejected that do not contain a value value for the payers that are live for 5010 transaction (if Live the assignment needs to be “A” for assigned).

4. Priority (Type) of Admission or Visit – payers who are live for 5010 transaction will need a value code for the admission or visit priority. Contact your billing software vendor or your clearing house to insure that you are providing this priority type in the electronic transaction file.

5. Drug Quantity – the CTP segment has been modified to require the drug quantity when a drug is billed. Contact your billing software vendor to insure that the drug quantity is being included in the electronic claims transactions.

Practices must adopt the latest version of the HIPAA electronic transaction standards, Version 5010, by Jan. 1, 2012. These electronic transaction standards include claims, insurance eligibility verification, remittance advice and others.