What information is needed to file changes of ownership?
While there may be a variety of legal definitions and purchase options, most of the changes of ownership received by the NSC are completed using one of the following methods, which are defined as follows:
- An asset purchase is the purchase of the assets of a business only. The buyer will be operating the business under a new tax identification number (TIN).
- A stock purchase is the purchase of all assets and liabilities where the buyer will retain and operate the business under its existing TIN
Suppliers should keep the following in mind with regards to changes in ownership:
Supplier standard 2 requires a supplier to report to the NSC any change in information within 30 days of the change.
Supplier numbers are associated with the TIN. If the buyer chooses to purchase the assets and liabilities while retaining the TIN, the supplier file only needs to be updated. If there is a change in TIN, the new owner must obtain a Medicare Identification Number.
Also, suppliers are required to list their National Provider Identifier (NPI) and provide a copy of the NPI notification furnished by the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES). If you are unable to locate your NPI notification, you may contact the NPPES at 800-465-3203 or send an email to email@example.com.
Applying for the NPI is a process separate from Medicare enrollment. To obtain an NPI, you may apply online at https://NPPES.cms.hhs.gov. For more information about NPI enumeration, visit the CMS website.
No Change in TIN (Stock Purchase)
1) I am purchasing all assets and liabilities and will be using the existing TIN. Specifically, how do I report this change?
Page three of the CMS 855S states a currently enrolled DMEPOS supplier that has come under new ownership is defined as a new enrollee. New enrollees indicated by changes of ownership are required to complete sections 1B, 1C, 2A1, 3, 6, 13 and 15 of the CMS 855S along with the submission of the purchasing agreement/bill of sale. Section 14 may be submitted in addition to section 15 if adding a delegated official.
Change in TIN (Asset Purchase)
1) I have purchased the assets of a Medicare supplier. What are my responsibilities as the buyer?
As the buyer, you are required to complete the CMS 855S application form in its entirety, submit all required documentation and a copy of the bill of sale. This package needs to be sent to the NSC within 30 days of the transaction.
The CMS 855S requires suppliers to complete the Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (CMS 588). With regards to DMEPOS enrollment, suppliers should submit the CMS 588 when changing the TIN due to a change in ownership. Suppliers must ensure the form has the original signature of the authorized or delegated official. Suppliers should submit a separate form for each Medicare contractor where it submits claims. Also, suppliers must include with each form submitted a voided check, preprinted deposit slip or confirmation of account information on bank letterhead for verification of the account number.
The NSC's role is to simply verify the correct contractor has been indicated on the agreement based on the information the supplier has provided on the CMS 855S and to ensure the agreement is completed and signed properly. Once verified, the NSC will send the agreements to the appropriate Medicare contractor for processing.
2) I have a Medicare supplier number and have sold the assets of my company to someone else. What is my responsibility?
As the seller, you are required to ensure the NSC has been notified of the sale within 30 days of the date of sale. Please complete the CMS 855S form as a voluntary termination or voluntarily withdraw through PECOS your Medicare Identification Number. To complete the CMS 855S form as a voluntary termination, please complete the following sections:
Section 1.B - (Business Identification)
- Enter the 'Legal Business Name'
- List the NPI (if issued)
- List the 'Tax Identification Number'
- List the Medicare Identification Number
Section 1.C - (Reason for submitting the CMS 855S)
- Check 'You are voluntary terminating your Medicare enrollment'
- List an 'Effective date of termination' in the correct format (mm/dd/yyyy)
- Enter the address where you would to receive any remaining correspondence
Section 4.D - (Remittance Notices/Special Payments Mailing Address)
- Enter the address where you would like to receive any remaining remittance notices or special payments
Section 11 - (Contact Person)
- Please list the name and contact information of an individual the NSC analyst may contact to obtain additional information or to obtain clarification
- If the authorized official is signing the application, this individual should sign section 15. If the delegated official is signing the application, this individual should sign section 14. Signatures and dates must be original. If they are not original, the CMS 855S will be returned.
3) As the buyer, may I use the Medicare Identification Number of the company I purchased until I receive my own?
Supplier standard 18 states that a supplier must not convey or reassign a Medicare Identification Number.
If this is an asset purchase only and you will operate your new business under a different TIN, do not use the number for your current business activities. You will need to obtain your own Medicare Identification Number.
4) When I apply for my Medicare Identification Number, will that number be retroactive back to the date I purchased the company?
Your number may be retroactive to the date on the bill of sale or to the date of your newest license, surety bond, accreditation, insurance document, permit, etc.
If all licenses, surety bond, accreditation, insurance, permits and/or certificates required for your specialty are effective under your new business name as of the date of the bill of sale and you are in compliance with the supplier standards, then the new supplier number will be retroactive to the date on the bill of sale.
Please note that 42 C.F.R. 424.57 establishes what criteria DMEPOS suppliers must meet in order to be eligible to receive payment for Medicare-covered items. Therefore, if a license has a date after the date on the bill of sale, this does not show full compliance, and the new Medicare Identification Number can only be retroactive back to the date of the license. The NSC is aware that some states allow new owners to operate under the existing license until the new license has been issued. Therefore, it would be advantageous to submit documentation or contact information to this effect.
For more information, contact NSC Customer Service at 866-238-9652.
5) When purchasing the assets of a company, do I also gain access to the existing Medicare beneficiaries served by that company?
The existing supplier should inform the beneficiaries that they are exiting the program. Beneficiaries reserve the right to select their Medicare suppliers/providers, even with limited service options based on terms of rental agreements.