National provider identifiers published

September 28, 2007

By posting online a list of all health care providers who have national provider identifiers (NPIs), CMS has addressed one of the unresolved issues that forced it to delay the deadline for NPI implementation by one year.

By posting online a list of all health care providers who have national provider identifiers (NPIs), CMS has addressed one of the unresolved issues that forced it to delay the deadline for NPI implementation by one year ("CMS blinks," InfoTech Bulletin, April 13, 2007). The NPI registry was published Sept. 4 and became downloadable on Sept. 12. (To find out how to access or download the file, go to www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand.)

All health care providers must use NPIs on claims forms by May 23, 2008. But private payers are still testing the new numbers with physicians, hospitals, and other HIPAA-covered entities. CMS urges providers to include their UPIN and other "legacy" numbers in the applications for NPIs, so that those can be posted in the online NPI disclosures for use in testing.

Registry listings include a doctor's office address, phone number, specialty, and medical license number. CMS policy is to exclude social security numbers, DEA numbers, dates of birth, and other identifying information that could put providers at risk of identity theft. But physicians are urged to check their own files to make sure that none of that data has been inadvertently disclosed. (To update your file, go to nppes.cms.hhs.gov.)