Completing and submitting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-9 to third party payers is an important part of timely reimbursement in the revenue cycle of medical providers. The W-9 gives insurance companies and other payers the correct Tax Identification Number (TIN) for providers to report income to the IRS.
Are you keeping your W-9 current?
Many payers require updated W-9s to be submitted any time key information changes: your name, business name, address, social security number, or employer identification number.
According to the CIPROMS credentialing department, different payers often require different information on the W-9, depending on what each payer has on file for providers. For instance, some payers require the address field to include the pay-to address; others want the physical address. And the business name may vary depending on the legal structure of the practice.
Also, according to the instructions on the W-9 itself, if a requester uses a form other than W-9 to request the TIN, the provider must use the customized form if it is substantially similar to the IRS Form W-9.
Failure to furnish the information on the W-9 to a payer may result in penalties from the IRS and possible delays in third party payments.
As part of our medical billing service, CIPROMS maintains and submits updated W-9s to payers on behalf of our clients. For providers and their staff submitting W-9s for themselves, the instructions on the W-9 form, along with specific directions from the payer, should help them fill out the form correctly.
The current Form W-9, last updated in December 2011, is available on the IRS website.
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