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.
Medicare 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 supplier 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.
No Change in TIN (Stock Purchase)
I am purchasing all assets and liabilities and will be using the existing TIN. Specifically, how do I report this change?
The CMS 855S states a currently enrolled DMEPOS supplier has come under new ownership is defined as a new enrollee. New enrollees indicated by changes of ownership are required to complete 1, 2, 3, 5 and/or 6 (as applicable), 12 (if applicable), 13 (optional), and 15 of the CMS 855S along with the submission of the purchasing agreement/bill of sale. Sections 15C and 15D may be submitted in addition to the authorized official’s signature(s) in section 15B 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 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 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 supplier number. To complete the CMS 855S form as a voluntary termination, please complete the following sections 1A, 2A, and 2B. Be sure to check ‘You are voluntary terminating your Medicare Enrollment’ and list the effective date of termination in the correct format (mm/dd/yyyy).
Note: you should also complete sections 4B and 4D with the address where you would like to receive any remaining correspondence, remittance notices or special payments.
A certification statement in Sections 15B and/or 15D is required by the authorized or delegated official(s). Please list the name and contact information of an individual in Section 13 the NSC analyst may contact to obtain additional information or to obtain clarification.
3) As the buyer, may I use the Medicare Supplier Number of the company I purchased until I receive my own?
Supplier standard 18 states a supplier must not convey or reassign a Medicare supplier 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 supplier number.
4) When I apply for my Medicare supplier number, will the new supplier 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 Medicare supplier number will be retroactive to the date on the bill of sale.
Please note 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 supplier number can only be retroactive back to the date of the license. The NSC is aware 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 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.