NPI (National Provider Identifier) is a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) administrative standard, a unique number designed to enhance health information electronic transmissions’ effectiveness and efficiency. The 10-digit numeric identifier (nine digits followed by the numeric check digit) doesn’t contain information such as residence or state where you practice, specialization areas, or provider type. This means that whoever undertakes an NPI registry search won’t access your personal information.
NPI doesn’t expire or change, meaning that even if you change your name and location or other details, it won’t be modified. Every health care provider, either as an individual or entity covered under HIPAA, must obtain NPI. HIPAA covered entities include;
- Health plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial plans
- Health care provider conducting transactions in electronic form
- Health care clearinghouses
Applying to get NPI isn’t such a hassle, especially noting that you have options to help you find the most comfortable approach. It is a painless process that can be completed within 30 minutes. The three primary ways are as highlighted below.
The online approach is perhaps the easiest and most comfortable way to apply for the NPI. Tech innovations continue to shape our daily lives; we love the internet and the opportunities it creates, and you can leverage it for numerous tasks, including getting the NPI. The simplified process won’t take much time or expose you to a range of changes, especially including the FAQ section that answers most of the concerns you might have. Simply visit the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) website and key in the required information. As an individual, you’ll have to create a username and password through the Identity and Access Management System. You’ll use the details to log in to the NPPES.
After completing the provided questionnaire and submitting the application, you’ll receive the NPI via e-mail. Be sure to check the spam folder as well, as it could be intercepted by your spam filtering system and diverted to the folder. It is that easy, a recommended approach as it is also quicker and easy to track the status.
Do you prefer physical documents? Then mail application is your go-to. You can request to submit your paper application by contacting the NPPES customer service hotline. Call 800.465.3203 and request a paper application form, complete, sign, and mail to the provided NPI Enumerator address.
If you are busy or not that comfortably applying, you can enlist an Electronic File Interchange Organization (EFIO). They submit your application data via the bulk enumeration process.
The unique health identifier simplifies the electronic transmission of HIPAA standard transactions, facilitating efficient coordination for the involved stakeholders. Considerations such as the volume of applications being processed approach utilized (electronically or on paper), and accuracy and completeness of the application (passes all edits) affects the duration it takes to get the NPI. Typically, it takes ten days if you apply electronically and 20 business days if it is a paper application.