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First Coast Service Options Announces Start-up of New Medicare Contract in Puerto Rico

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- First Coast Service Options (FCSO), one of the nation's largest fee-for-service Medicare administrators, announced today that it is prepared to implement the second and final phase of a new Medicare administrative contract the company was awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last September. Specifically, the final phase of the contract involves Medicare Part A and B administrative services for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which will both be implemented on March 1, 2009. Medicare Part A and Part B services for Florida were implemented earlier in February.

For the Puerto Rico portion of the upcoming implementation, FCSO will be responsible for processing Medicare Part A and B claims and performing other claim-related administrative services. In anticipation of the March 1 cutover, FCSO has been working closely with CMS, the two outgoing Medicare contractors -- Triple-S and Cooperativa (COSVI) of San Juan, Puerto Rico -- and other stakeholders since October to ensure a smooth implementation. Triple-S will serve on the FCSO team in Puerto Rico and process telephone and written inquiries and appeals for providers on behalf of FCSO and perform provider outreach and education and medical review services as well.

FCSO is committed to a successful implementation in Puerto Rico. "Priority one is ensuring that this implementation maintains the high service levels Medicare beneficiaries and providers in Puerto Rico expect and deserve," Curtis Lord, FCSO's vice chairman, said. "We consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to play such an important role in the administration of the Medicare program and the health care delivery system in Puerto Rico," added Sandy Coston, FCSO's president and CEO.

Several transition-related changes, primarily concerning payment policies and electronic claim filing procedures and formats, will be implemented as part of the new contract. FCSO has communicated these changes extensively using a variety of outreach and educational processes to ensure the provider community in Puerto Rico understands them and is ready to do business with FCSO on March 1. FCSO will offer provider outreach and education services, including the company's Web site, in both English and Spanish.

About FCSO

FCSO contracts with CMS to provide quality administrative services throughout the United States to Medicare beneficiaries and the health care providers who care for them. Services include claims processing, customer service, appeals adjudication, education and outreach activities and functions that help ensure the integrity of Medicare program payments. FCSO has over 1,000 staff at the company's headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., and in field offices in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Meriden, Conn. and Camarillo, Calif. For more information concerning FCSO, please see its Web site at

SOURCE First Coast Service Options, Inc.
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