Box 17 CMS 1500: Referring Provider Information for Claim Forms

When submitting an insurance claim using the CMS 1500 form, accurate and complete information is crucial to ensure a smooth claims process. One particular section that requires attention is Box 17, which is designated for providing the name of the referring provider or other source. In this article, we will delve into the details of Box 17 CMS 1500 and understand its significance in the claims submission process.

Understanding Box 17 CMS 1500:

Box 17 on the CMS 1500 claim form serves the purpose of identifying the referring provider who has referred the patient for a particular service or treatment. It allows the payer to verify the necessity of the referral and helps prevent fraudulent claims. The information entered in this section provides clarity on the origin of the referral, making it an important element in the claims process [1]

How to Complete Box 17 CMS 1500:

To accurately complete Box 17, you need to ensure that the referring provider's information is provided. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Identify the Qualifier:

 The applicable qualifier must be entered in Box 17 to identify the specific provider being reported. Common qualifiers include Referring Provider (DN) or Ordering Provider (DK), but it is important to consult the insurance payer to determine the correct qualifier for the referrer.

2. Include Provider Details:

Enter the referring provider's first name, last name, National Provider Identifier (NPI) number, and any other relevant identification details requested by the payer. Double-check the accuracy of this information as errors can lead to claim denials or delays.

3. Populate Referring Provider Details:

 Depending on the claim submission method, such as using the WebPT application or EDI file, ensure that the referring provider's information is correctly filled in the designated sections. In the WebPT application, you can navigate to the client's information or patient's chart to manually change the referring provider's name and add additional information in the Referring Providers section. In the EDI file, the referring provider's information is included in Loop 2310A, specifically in the NM101 (Qualifier), NM103 (Last Name), and NM104 (First Name) segments [1]

Importance of Box 17 CMS 1500 in Insurance Claims:

Box 17 plays a crucial role in the claims submission process for various reasons:

1. Referral Verification:

Insurance payers often require a referral from a healthcare provider for specific services. By providing the referring provider's information in Box 17, the payer can validate the necessity of the referral and process the claim accordingly.

2. Fraud Prevention:

 Including the referring provider's information in the claim form helps prevent fraudulent claims. Payers can cross-reference the information provided in Box 17 with the referring provider's records to ensure the legitimacy of the referral.

3. Claim Accuracy:

 Accurately completing Box 17 ensures that the claim contains all the necessary details and meets the payer's requirements. This increases the likelihood of claim acceptance and reduces the chances of claim rejections or delays.

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What should I do if I am unsure about the correct qualifier to use in Box 17?

   If you are uncertain about the appropriate qualifier to use, it is recommended to contact the insurance payer directly. They will provide you with the specific qualifier to be used for the referring provider.

2. Can the referring provider's information be added in the client's profile for automatic population in the claim form?

   Yes, some practice management or electronic health record systems allow you to add referral information in the client's profile. However, it is important to note that this information may not automatically populate in the CMS 1500 claim form. You may need to manually enter the details on the first claim, and subsequent claims will autofill the information based on the initial entry [[3](].

3. Are there any consequences of providing inaccurate or incomplete information in Box 17?

   Yes, inaccurate or incomplete information in Box 17 can lead to claim denials or delays. It is crucial to double-check the accuracy of the referring provider's details before submitting the claim to avoid these issues.


Accurately completing Box 17 on the CMS 1500 claim form is essential for insurance claims that require a referral from a healthcare provider. By following the steps outlined in this article and providing the necessary information, you can ensure that your claims have the best chance of being accepted without delays or rejections. Remember to consult the insurance payer for any specific requirements or qualifiers related to Box 17, as this information may vary depending on the payer [1][3]

By understanding the significance of Box 17 CMS 1500 and adhering to the correct procedures for completion, you can streamline the claims submission process and ensure accurate reimbursement for your healthcare services.


[1]/ Box 17 - Name of Referring Provider or Other Source

[3]/Claim Forms: Referring Provider Information - Box 17