What is the National Provider Identifier (NPI)
The federal National Provider Identifier (NPI) is the health care provider identification system adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of the implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Although all health care providers that are considered covered entities under HIPAA-those who file claims electronically or use a clearinghouse to bill insurance-are required to apply for an NPI, any health care provider is eligible to apply for and receive an identification number. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are encouraged to apply for the NPI.
How do I apply for an NPI?
Healthcare providers can apply for an NPI in two ways:
Why should I obtain an NPI?
The NPI will eliminate the need for audiologists and SLPs to use different identification numbers when conducting business with multiple health plans. Many health plans, (including Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance issuers) and all health care clearinghouses will be required to accept and use NPIs by May 23, 2007.
Where can I find additional information on the use of the NPI?
Additional information on the NPI can be found on CMS's Medlearn page (PDF format).