Healthcare providers urged to obtain National Provider Identifier (NPI) soon
December 22, 2006
Healthcare providers that bill Medicare for services are being urged to acquire a National Provider Identifier (NPI) as soon as possible in order to meet the May 23, 2007, compliance deadline. Implementation of the NPI is a complex process that will impact business functions of a practice, including billing, reporting and payment. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that a provider’s use of the NPI will require a transition period of no less than 120 days after the NPI is obtained.
The NPI will replace healthcare provider identifiers now used in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 standard transactions. Those numbers include Medicare legacy IDs (UPIN, OSCAR, PIN, and National Supplier Clearinghouse or NSC). A provider’s NPI will not change and will remain with the provider, regardless of job or location changes.
All healthcare providers that are HIPAA-covered entities—whether they are individuals (physicians, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, or pharmacists) or organizations (hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, nursing homes, residential treatment centers, laboratories, ambulance companies, group practices, HMOs, suppliers of durable medical equipment, pharmacies, etc.)—must obtain an NPI to identify themselves in HIPAA standard transactions.
For a comprehensive overview of NPI, including application information and educational and training materials, visit the CMS website at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand/.