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CMS has announced dark days for FISS and Common Working File Hosts on July 2 and 3. This means that a Notice of Election (NOE) will not process on these days. NHPCO has verified with CMS that all MACs will consider the dark days as a qualifying exception request for a late NOE submission. 

 From Palmetto GBA:

For the upcoming July 2015 Release, CWF will be observing three business 'dark' days. To accommodate the anticipated duration of this activity and to ensure the completion of weekly/monthly/quarterly processing, installation of the July 2015 Release, and scheduled data center maintenance, there will be 'dark' days on Thursday, July 2; Friday (Holiday), July 3; and Saturday, July 4, 2015.

This means Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will not have access to the Health Insurance Master Record (HIMR) inquiry and Beneficiary Data Streamlining (BDS) transaction. Eligibility information in HIQA and HIQH will also not be available. However, it will not affect your ability to access beneficiary eligibility information through Palmetto GBA’s Online Provider Services (OPS). The Provider Contact Center will not have access to CWF and cannot assist providers with CWF information, such as beneficiary eligibility and beneficiary verification for claim detail, etc.

If you are requesting an exception for an untimely NOE because of the FISS dark days, be sure to include this information in the exception request form.