(a) General rule.
The beneficiary's own signature is required on the claim unless the beneficiary has died or the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), or (d) of this section apply. For purposes of this section, “the claim” includes the actual claim form or such other form that contains adequate notice to the beneficiary or other authorized individual that the purpose of the signature is to authorize a provider or supplier to submit a claim to Medicare for specified services furnished to the beneficiary.
(b) Who may sign when the beneficiary is incapable.
If the beneficiary is physically or mentally incapable of signing the claim, the claim may be signed on his or her behalf by one of the following:
The beneficiary's legal guardian.
A relative or other person who receives social security or other governmental benefits on the beneficiary's behalf.
A relative or other person who arranges for the beneficiary's treatment or exercises other responsibility for his or her affairs.
A representative of an agency or institution that did not furnish the services for which payment is claimed but furnished other care, services, or assistance to the beneficiary.
A representative of the provider or of the nonparticipating hospital claiming payment for services it has furnished if the provider or nonparticipating hospital is unable to have the claim signed in accordance with paragraph (b)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section after making reasonable efforts to locate and obtain the signature of one of the individuals specified in paragraph (b)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section.
An ambulance provider or supplier with respect to emergency or nonemergency ambulance transport services, if the following conditions and documentation requirements are met.
None of the individuals listed in paragraph (b)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section was available or willing to sign the claim on behalf of the beneficiary at the time the service was provided;
The ambulance provider or supplier maintains in its files the following information and documentation for a period of at least four years from the date of service:
A contemporaneous statement, signed by an ambulance employee present during the trip to the receiving facility, that, at the time the service was provided, the beneficiary was physically or mentally incapable of signing the claim and that none of the individuals listed in paragraph (b)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section were available or willing to sign the claim on behalf of the beneficiary, and
Documentation with the date and time the beneficiary was transported, and the name and location of the facility that received the beneficiary, and
Either of the following:
(1) A signed contemporaneous statement from a representative of the facility that received the beneficiary, which documents the name of the beneficiary and the date and time the beneficiary was received by that facility; or
(2) The requested information from a representative of the hospital or facility using a secondary form of verification obtained at a later date, but prior to submitting the claim to Medicare for payment. Secondary forms of verification include a copy of any of the following:
(i) The signed patient care/trip report;
(ii) The facility or hospital registration/admission sheet;
(iii) The patient medical record;
(iv) The facility or hospital log; or
(v) Other internal facility or hospital records.
(c) Who may sign if the beneficiary was not present for the service.
If a provider, nonparticipating hospital, or supplier files a claim for services that involved no personal contact between the provider, hospital, or supplier and the beneficiary (for example, a physician sent a blood sample to the provider for diagnostic tests), a representative of the provider, hospital, or supplier may sign the claim on the beneficiary's behalf.
(d) Claims by entities that provide coverage complementary to Medicare.
A claim by an entity that provides coverage complementary to Medicare Part B may be signed by the entity on the beneficiary's behalf.
(e) Acceptance of other signatures for good cause.
If good cause is shown, CMS may honor a claim signed by a party other than those specified in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section.
[53 FR 6640, Mar. 2, 1988; 53 FR 12945, Apr. 20, 1988, as amended at 53 FR 28388, July 28, 1988; 72 FR 66406, Nov. 27, 2007; 73 FR 2432, Jan. 15, 2008; 73 FR 66938, Nov. 19, 2008]