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Aug 26

How can a health care provider apply for and obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI)?

I’ve covered this ground before but it seems the question still arises. A health care provider may apply for an NPI in one of three ways:

1. Apply through a web-based application process – this is the easiest and fastest way. The web address to the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) is https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov.

2. If requested, give permission to have an Electronic File Interchange Organization (EFIO) submit the application data on behalf of the health care provider (i.e., through a bulk enumeration process). If a health care provider agrees to permit an EFIO to apply for the NPI, the EFIO will provide instructions regarding the information that is required to complete the process. More information on this option is available at: www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand/04_education.asp#TopOfPage.

3. Fill out and mail a paper application form to the NPI Enumerator. A copy of the application form (CMS-10114), which includes the NPI Enumerator’s mailing address, is available only upon request through the NPI Enumerator. The NPI Enumerator’s phone number is 1-800-465-3203 or TTY 1-800-692-2326.

When applying for an NPI, providers are encouraged to include their Medicare identifiers, but also those issued by any other health plans. If reporting a Medicaid identification number, include the associated State name. The legacy identifier information is critical for health plans in the development of crosswalks to aid in the transition to the NPI. Once the NPI application information has been submitted and the NPI assigned, NPPES (or an EFIO, if the health care provider was enumerated by way of an EFIO) will send the health care provider a notification that includes their NPI. This notification is proof of NPI enumeration and provides the information that will enable trading partners to verify a health care provider’s NPI.

About Reed Tinsley, CPA

As a top advisor to physicians, I help increase practice profits by delivering hands-on, expert medical accounting/tax support, practice counsel, and revenue-building strategies. Read more →