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  • Writer's pictureMac Rinehart

Important Brightside Mail Service Update

Hi Brightsiders! In January 2024, we posted info on mail services that turned out to be incorrect. Since then, as we've worked to add additions features and benefits for mail clients, we received some expert advice on the topic. Turns out that even inside the USPS folks are confused, and we were incorrectly informed. We're setting the record straight, and this will require changes to how we handle mail to comply with new rules implemented by the USPS in July 2023. You may be concerned about how this impacts you. Don’t panic! We’ve anticipated top concerns, including how this impacts NPI registration, and have solutions.

Have questions or need in person service?

Brightside Coworking will offer in-person office hours from 9A-Noon and 1P-5P at the Library Building on the week of March 23, 2024, to March 29, 2024. Additional routine office hours on a more limited schedule or by appointment will start in April 2024 and beyond.

What Rules Changed with the USPS

On July 9, 2023, the USPS implemented new rules that require any individual or business that receives mail at a single point and then manages that mail on behalf of others to register as a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA). This rule change is very broad; it covers any type of commercial situation where mail is delivered by the USPS to a single point and accepted by a person or business on behalf of another party. CMRAs that do not register or comply with USPS regulations after a 30-day warning period can have all mail services terminated. Brightside has not received a warning, but to protect your business and ours, we are completing the registration process complying with all regulations.

Member Requirements & Benefits of Our New Mail Program

Brightside is implementing a service called SphereMail to enhance our mail service. SphereMail helps Brightside comply with the USPS regulations, while also providing significant new service benefits to members. Every member who receives mail must complete a registration process in SphereMail to ensure we are compliant with USPS regulations. 

SphereMail Benefits

SphereMail will help Brightside improve communication with you regarding your mail, saving you time and money! Once you’re set up, Brightside will notify you through SphereMail every time you receive mail. For each piece of mail you get, we’ll report who sent it, and what type of mail it is (i.e. letter, post card, flier, package, magazine, etc). SphereMail allows you to direct Brightside to recycle or shred mail you don’t want! Finally, using this service, you can request that individual items be forwarded to you, or you can enroll in the bulk mail forwarding program that we currently provide to get all your mail forwarded.

SphereMail Registration

USPS regulations require all CRMA clients to complete a Form 1583. This registration also requires that Brightside staff or a notary public to verify your identity. The SphereMail registration process allows you to complete this Form 1583 electronically. Brightside can verify people we know without additional authentication. We'll supply clear instructions on this process.

Registration must be completed by every individual who receives mail. For the case of mail addressed to an organization name, this mail will be delivered to the organization regardless of any individual also named in the address. However, if mail is addressed to an individual without the organization name, that individual must have completed USPS Form 1583 to receive mail. Therefore, we advise for group practices that all members of the group complete the registration process.

Address Update & NPI Practice Location Guidance

USPS regulations for CRMAs require that Brightside Coworking clients have a private mailbox (PMB) number in their address. All members will be assigned a PMB number when enrolling in SphereMail. USPS regulation specifies that the PMB must be included in the mailing address for CMRA clients to guarantee delivery. In practice, we are told that this requirement is overlooked by local post offices. If mail is delivered to our address for a member and is missing the PMB, we will be able to identify the correct delivery location and deliver that mail to you.

For National Provider Identifier (NPI) Enrollment, if you are using Brightside Coworking as your place of business, do not include the PMB Number for your practice location. You can include the PMB Number in your mailing address for NPI enrollment. Brightside has also confirmed that CMS’s address flexibility rule has been extended through the end of 2024. This rule, implemented during COVID, allows providers to use their office as their practice location for NPI enrollment even if they are delivering telehealth services from home.

Regarding Discontinuation of Service

CRMA operators are required to provide short-term continuation of service for members after their accounts are terminated. Brightside Terms & Conditions will be updated to include 1 month of mail forwarding service following the end of service. Customers will be invoiced any mail forwarded after termination. This is consistent with Brightside's current practice. The post-termination forwarding assures you will continue to get mail from clients and vendors while working through informing them of your address change.

Do I Have To Do This?

Perhaps, after reading this message, you're wondering if it's worth the effort to continue your mail service with Brightside. We hope you'll decide it is, and we are working to enhance our service so that it's more efficient for you going forward. But, if you're thinking that you can avoid the issue by pursuing another option for mail, the reality is that many potential vendors are in the same boat.

Some may not realize it, or may choose to ignore the rules. Just reminder the CRMAs regulations apply to any commercial activity where mail is received at a single point and then handled by a private party or business on behalf of others. So, even if you find someone who is not following these regulations, you'll likely be in a non-compliant situation that could result in suspension of mail service.

If you have any questions, or need help, please email us. Also we can help you during our in-person office hours. Please stay tuned for additional documentation and instructions on the new registration process.

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