Credit Balance Reports

CMS requires a Credit Balance Report (CMS-838) be submitted within 30 days after the end of each quarter for all providers participating in the Medicare program. Providers should submit your Credit Balance Reports via fax by the due dates below.

Credit Balance FAX: 701-277-7881

Credit Balance Due Dates

Quarter Ending Due Date
March 31 April 30
June 30 July 30
September 30 October 30
December 31 January 30


What is a Credit Balance?

A credit balance exists when a facility receives an overpayment for a Medicare service, for example:

  • A facility is paid twice for the same service either by Medicare or by Medicare and another insurer
  • A facility is paid for services planned but not performed or for non-covered services
  • A facility is overpaid because of errors made in calculating beneficiary deductible and/or coinsurance amounts
  • A facility bills and is paid for outpatient services included in a beneficiary's inpatient claim


General Instructions for Completing the CMS-838

CMS 838 Form and Instructions This link will take you to an external website. - The Credit Balanace Report complete instructions, Certification Page, and Details Page are available on the CMS website.

Noridian 838 Form [Excel] - Facilities may recreate the CMS 838 in a spreadsheet program so they can enter the credit balance data electronically; for your convenience, Noridian has created a version of the CMS 838 in Excel that providers may download. If you use the Noridian Excel format to submit your CMS 838 spreadsheet electronically, mail the spreadsheet on a disk along with the printed, signed certification page to Noridian.

Certification Page Tutorial - The Certification Page is required by each provider on a quarterly basis and accompanies the Credit Balance Report. Facilities without any credit balances during a quarter need to submit only the signed certification page for that quarter. An officer (the Chief Financial Officer or Chief Executive Officer) or the Administrator of the facility must sign and date the certification page. Noridian has prepared a tutorial that offers hover-and-view instrucitons to assist providers in understanding the required elements of each section of the Certification Page.

Detail Page Tutorial - A separate Detail Page must be completed for Part A and B of A. On the detail page, providers must enter information about each credit balance on a claim-by-claim basis.

Provider-based Home Health Agencies must submit their CMS 838 to their Regional Home Health Medicare contractor.

Last Updated Jun 16, 2017