Handwritten Paper Claims Reduction Initiative

September 26, 2017

On July 10, 2017, NGS began returning any paper claims that include handwriting in fields other than the allowed signature fields (Items 12, 13, or 31).

They are rolling this out on a State/Locality basis and by November, all handwritten claims will be returned to the provider.

The schedule is as follows:

Date NGS will start to return handwritten paper claims


County listing

July 10, 2017

Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont


August 7, 2017

New York (Upstate: Localities 03 and 99)

New York Locality/Area and County Information

September 11, 2017



October 9, 2017



November 13, 2017

New York (Downstate: Localities 01, 02, and 04)

New York Locality/Area and County Information

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Internet-Only Manual (IOM) Publication 100-04, Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 26, Section 30, "Printing Standards and Print File Specifications Form CMS-1500" (700 KB) contains the printing specifications for the CMS-1500 claim form. These printing specifications do not provide instructions to submit handwritten claims. Please use this CMS IOM reference to ensure you are completing paper claims correctly.

Alternatives to Handwritten Paper Claims

We understand this may require some substantial changes to your office practices and we at NGS have two alternatives to handwritten paper claims that would be of little cost to your practice.

  1. NGSConnex is our web-based self-service portal, free of charge, and available through Internet access. You can login to NGSConnex and submit claims to us. In addition to claims submission, NGSConnex has other useful functions like verifying Medicare entitlement, submitting appeals on claims, and viewing and downloading your remittance advice. Take this opportunity to get started on NGSConnex today!
  2. Electronic claim submission and other transactions submitted electronically process considerably faster than paper submission. The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) page on our website, explains how to enroll and what capabilities your office needs to be able to submit electronic claims.  In addition, NGS can provide you with no cost claim submission software, PC-ACE.  Visit our web site at PC-ACE to learn more.

All providers with access to the Internet should have the capability to download this billing software free of charge. However, if that is not the case, this software will continue to be available on CD for a $25 nonrefundable fee.

To learn More about PC-ACE visit the Electronic Data Interchange software tab at http://www.ngsmedicare.com/  and choose Claims & Appeals.  

For assistance, please contact the EDI Help Desk or submit an EDI E-mail Inquiry Form for assistance. If it is determined that you are not capable of downloading the software, you will be provided with the appropriate form to request the PC-ACE software on CD.


James D. Bavoso
Provider Outreach & Education
National Government Services
(718) 351-2098
(315) 442-4103 (fax)