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Q. I get medical forms with Noridian Administrative Services written on them. Who are Noridian Administrative Services?

A. You see them on top of your Medicare Summary Notices. They are the ones who process claims submitted to Medicare and pay your hospital, your doctor or your home health nurse, for example. Noridian will also be the first contractor across the U.S. to send out the newly designed MSNs. You will begin to see the new Medicare Summary Notices in March. Remember you get MSNs only quarterly and only if you have had Medicare services during that quarter.

One of the easiest ways to identify and stop fraud, waste or abuse is simply by reading your MSN. The new MSNs will be much easier to read and to understand. It will now be in your hands to stop the waste, fraud and abuse. No longer can a doctor get away with overbilling Medicare, because you would be able to tell. Nor will a home health nurse bill for days she never showed up, it will be obvious.

It is important that everyone take their job seriously and reads their MSNs. Though Montana is a low-fraud state, mistakes happen. Also, it would take one bad apple to bill for services you didn’t receive, and Montana is not immune to that. The number one deterrent is the beneficiary … you. These changes to the MSN have just made your job easier. Please read and question your MSNs, and if you’re not sure, ask a local SMP or SHIP counselor. You can reach your local SHIP or SMP counselor at 800-551-3191 or in Yellowstone County at 406-259-5212.

Send your questions about Medicare or Medicaid to SHIP Program c/o Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County, PO Box 20895, Billings, MT 59104 or email helenh@allianceyc.org

Questions are answered by the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) an objective, not-for-profit counseling, assistance and advocacy service sponsored by DPHHS of Montana and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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