All health care professionals filing electronic claims are required to obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number. This 10-digit number will replace all of your health plan and Medicaid identification numbers and PINs, improving billing efficiency. The NPI is mandated for use beginning May 23, 2007. Medicare will begin its transition to the use of the NPI on October 6, 2006, so Medicaid programs may follow suit. A minimum of 6 months’ notice is required by plans before implementing the use of NPI. You are encouraged to apply for your new NPI as soon as possible so you are ready when each payer starts the transition to its use. Even if you do not file claims electronically, it would be a good idea to obtain an NPI for future use. You can apply for an NPI online at nppes.cms.hhs.gov or request a copy of the application by phone at 800/465-3203...

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