TN 50 (09-13)

GN 02602.620 Guidelines for Conducting Interviews for the Medicare Non-utilization Project (MNUP)

A. Interview instructions

1. The beneficiary should be present for the interview

We should see or speak to the beneficiary whenever possible.

2. Telephone interview preferred

Conduct the interview over the telephone unless:

  • the beneficiary or representative payee, if any, specifically requests otherwise,

  • the beneficiary or representative payee, if any, has conditions that impair effective telephone communication,

  • integrity issues (e.g., unable to identify the person) are apparent during the telephone interview, or

  • management determines a face-to-face interview is appropriate.

NOTE: If the record has a representative payee, conduct the interview with the representative payee.

3. Verify the identity of the beneficiary

Before the interview begins, use normal procedures to establish identity per GN 03360.005A.1.c. Follow identity verification instructions outlined in GN 00203.015, Considerations in Telephone Interviewing and GN 00203.020A, Identity of Claimants.

NOTE: Use the Customer Service Record Query (CSRQ) to retrieve consolidated identity and benefit information, SM 31020.001 through SM 31020.155.

Ask the beneficiary or the representative payee to provide the following identifying information:

  • name;

  • SSN;

  • date of birth;

  • place of birth. If our records do not have a place of birth, ask another piece of information (e.g. father’s name);

  • complete mailing address, including city, state, and zip code; and

  • at least one other item of information available in our system of records (such as the benefit amount or the names of other persons on the record).

NOTE: If the interview is face-to-face, request to see photo identification.

4. Request for third-party assistance

After you identify the beneficiary, he or she may ask that you speak to another person on his or her behalf (i.e., a third-party helper). The purpose of a third-party helper is to assist the beneficiary with conducting his or her business with us. A third-party helper may be a relative, friend, or other third party, but does not have access rights to the beneficiary’s record information. For additional information on a third-party helper assisting with the interview, see GN 02602.620B in this section.

5. Inability to establish identity

If you cannot establish identity during the telephone appointment, a face-to-face interview may be necessary. Mail the SSA-L501 to schedule the second appointment at the beneficiary’s residence.

6. Failure to keep the appointment

If a third appointment letter is necessary, follow instructions in GN 02602.610B.4.

7. Interview worksheet

You must complete the corresponding MNUP worksheet during each interview. Completing this worksheet ensures you obtain all applicable information during the interview. Transcribe information collected on the worksheet into the MNUP website online worksheet. See GN 02602.650 for additional information about the MNUP website. For additional information on the worksheets, see GN 02602.660.

8. Post-entitlement issues

After verifying the beneficiary’s identity, develop any additional post-entitlement issues.

Note: For dually entitled or concurrent beneficiaries, you must resolve post-entitlement issues on all records.

These issues include, but are not limited to:

  • capability and representative payee development,

  • date-of-birth corrections, and

  • address.

B. Third-party helper interview

There may be occasions when the beneficiary needs assistance with the interview (i.e., nursing home employees, family member, etc.). For information on third-party help requests, see GN 02602.620A.</