ABN delivery is considered to be effective when the notice is:
- Delivered and comprehended by a suitable recipient.
- The correct ABN approved notice with all required blanks completed.
Note: Failure to use the correct notice may lead to providers being found liable.
- Delivered to the beneficiary in person if possible.
- Provided far enough in advance of potentially non-covered items or services to allow sufficient time for the beneficiary to consider all available options.
- Explained in its entirety and all beneficiary-related questions are answered.
- Signed by the beneficiary or his representative.
Options for Delivery Other Than In-Person
In circumstances when in-person delivery is not possible, an ABN may be delivered through the following means:
- Secure fax machine.
- Internet e-mail.
When delivery is not in-person, the contact must be documented in the patient’s records. To be considered effective, the beneficiary cannot dispute such contact. Telephone contacts must be followed immediately by either a hand-delivered, mailed, e-mailed or faxed notice. The beneficiary or representative must sign and retain the notice and send a copy of this signed notice to the provider for the retention in the patient’s record.
The provider must keep a copy of the unsigned notice on file while awaiting receipt of the signed notice. If the beneficiary does not return a signed copy, the provider must document the initial contact and subsequent attempts to obtain a signature in appropriate records or on the notice itself.