« Previous article Next Article »

Tip of the Week: What does "accepting assignment" mean on a medical claim? 4-20-15 to 4-24-15

Monday, April 27, 2015

View NPM Study Group:

Common Claim Form Mistakes

View NPM Study Group:

Learn the Lingo of Medical Billing

View NPM Study Group:

Breaking Down the New Claim Form (version 02/12)

View NPM Study Group:

In vs. out of network

Attend one our DAILY LIVE webinars!

registration is always free with your active M&S subscription with DentalWriter

Ask or search your question on our Forums!

Share this tip!

On Facebook

On Linkedin

On Twitter

Tip of the Week!

What does "accepting assignment" mean on a medical claim?


What does “accepting assignment” mean for a medical claim?


There is a box on the medical claim form (box 27, found near the bottom) for “Accept Assignment” – yes or no. So what does this mean?


According to Medicare,

“when a professional accepts Medicare Assignment they agree:

  • To be paid directly by Medicare.
  • To accept the payment amount Medicare approves.
  • Not to bill you for more than the Medicare deductible and coinsurance.”

The Medicare contract states:

“Meaning of Assignment - For purposes of this agreement, accepting assignment of the Medicare Part B payment means requesting direct Part B payment from the Medicare program.  Under an assignment, the approved charge, determined by the Medicare carrier, shall be the full charge for the service covered under Part B.  The participant shall not collect from the beneficiary or other person or organization for covered services more than the applicable deductible and coinsurance.”

When enrolling in Medicare as a participating provider or DME supplier, you are agreeing to accept assignment on your claims. Non-participating providers and suppliers can choose on a claim by claim basis to select yes or no for accept assignment.

There is also a box on the claim form (box 13, found in the middle on the right hand side) for “Insured’s or authorized person’s signature” to “authorize payment of medical benefits to the undersigned physician or supplier for services described below” (below meaning the services on the claim form being billed out).

Medicare’s instructions state:

“Item 12 – The patient's signature authorizes release of medical information necessary to process the claim. It also authorizes payments of benefits to the provider of service or supplier when the provider of service or supplier accepts assignment on the claim.”

“Item 13 - The patient’s signature or the statement “signature on file” in this item authorizes payment of medical benefits to the physician or supplier. The patient or his/her authorized representative signs this item or the signature must be on file separately with the provider as an authorization. However, note that when payment under the Act can only be made on an assignment-related basis or when payment is for services furnished by a participating physician or supplier, a patient’s signature or a “signature on file” is not required in order for Medicare payment to be made directly to the physician or supplier.”


But do the same rules apply outside of Medicare? Here is a link to a great article that discusses the guidelines and confusion surrounding this topic:

Looking for more in-depth training for Medical Billing in Dentistry?

Current clients receive discounts on education!
Call us at 800-879-6468 or e-mail us at to learn more

Join NPM for our "Successful Medical Billing in Dentistry" CE courses held across the country!

Our next course Medical Billing course coming up is April 1
7th & 18th in beautiful San Diego, CA!

There are plenty of other dates and cities if that one doesn't fit your schedule:

Watch any past NPM Study Group on demand!

The sessions are organized into categories to help you find what you're looking for - or something you didn't even know you were looking for!

1. Sleep Apnea Training

Dental practice training for managing, treating and medical billing for obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy

2. TMD-TMJ Training

Training for dental practice for managing, treating and medical billing for TMD/TMJ services - temporomandibular joint disorders

3. Oral Surgery Training

Training for medical billing for medically necessary oral surgical services for the dental practice

4. General Medical Billing Training

Various general medical billing in dentistry training for the dental practice

5. Marketing Training
Marketing for medically necessary procedures in the dental practice training

6. Training - misc. topics

Misc. topics for training for dental practices treating and billing for medically necessary procedures

7. Recorded E3 Full Webinars
Full length training on DentalWriter software by treatment type

« Previous article Next Article »