The deadline to obtain and begin using a National Provider Identifier (NPI)was May 23. If you submit claims electronically (or send paper claims to a clearinghouse that submits them electronically on your behalf), you are required to use the NPI in place of other provider identifiers (such as the Uniform Provider Identification Number or UPIN).

The NPI was established as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The NPI Rule was published on Jan. 23,2004, and affects all HIPAA covered entities.

If you haven't yet obtained your NPI, it's easy to get one. You can apply for an NPI online through the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System(NPPES) at

If you have an NPI but haven't yet tested its use with your payers, you should implement a contingency plan to document how your practice plans to work toward compliance. You can find more...

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