National Provider Identifier

What is the National Provider Identifier?

The purpose of the National Provider Identifier (NPI) is to uniquely identify a health care provider in standard transactions, such as health care claims.

NPIs may also be used to identify health care providers on prescriptions, in internal files to link proprietary provider identification numbers and other information, in coordination of benefits between health plans, in patient medical record systems, in program integrity files, and in other ways. HIPAA requires that covered entities use NPIs in standard transactions. You are a covered entity if you conduct any electronic transaction with federal health programs.

Your individual NPI is yours even if your employer files the application for it. The NPI does not change when you change practices or work in different settings. You will have only one individual NPI. It will be used by all health plans who are covered entities, eliminating what are likely many provider numbers assigned by Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers at present.

Will my NPI information be available to others?

CMS has created an online NPI registry(nppes.cms.hhs.gov) where a physician, other health care provider, or organization can access NPI information. This is part of the same National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) web site on which NPI registry is completed.

Only the health care provider data elements that are disclosable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are released.

Information That Will Not Be Disclosed

Social Security Numbers (SSNs), Internal Revenue Service Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (IRS ITINs) and dates of birth (DOB) are not disclosable under FOIA and, therefore, will not be released to the public.

More Information on NPI Dissemination

The CMS NPI Dissemination(www.cms.hhs.gov) has more information regarding the disclosure of NPI information.

Do I apply for an NPI as an individual or group/organization?

Sole Proprietorships

If you practice as a sole proprietorship, you must apply as a type I (individual). You will have to submit your social security number rather than your employer identification number (even if you have one).

Incorporated Practices

Eligible organizations, including S corporations, may apply for an NPI as an entity Type II (organization). Eligible individuals working within an organization, including an S corporation, may also apply for an NPI as an entity Type I (individual). An S corporation representing only one practitioner is still eligible for a Type II NPI. From an NPI perspective, an S corporation is no different than a limited liability corporation or any other type of corporation.

How do I apply for my NPI?

You can apply for an NPI in one of three ways:

  1. Apply online(nppes.cms.hhs.gov).
  2. Mail in a written application.
  3. Through an electronic file interchange provided by a large organization.

Online and Paper Applications

The fastest and easiest way for most physicians will be completing the online application form.

Complete the application online. You will need:

  • Legacy (current) provider identification numbers
  • UPIN number
  • Taxonomy codes
  • License numbers
  • Mailing address and practice address(es)
  • Phone number and the name of the person who will serve as a contact should the enumerator need further information.

If you have someone other than yourself complete the application, they will also need to know in what country and state you were born, your date of birth, and your social security or individual taxpayer identification number.

If you wish to complete a paper application/update form (CMS-10114), this must be obtained by contacting the NPI Enumerator. After receiving the form, mail applicaton completed and signed to the NPI Enumerator located in Fargo, North Dakota, whereby staff at the NPI Enumerator will enter the application data into the enumeration system. The form will be available only upon request through the NPI Enumerator. Health care providers who wish to obtain a copy of this form must contact the NPI Enumerator in any of these ways:

  • Phone: (800)465-3203 or TTY (800)692-2326.
  • Email: customerservice@npienumerator.com.
  • Mail: NPI Enumerator, P.O. Box 6059, Fargo, ND 58108-6059

Electronic File Interchange (EFI) Offers Bulk Enumeration for Large Organizations

Electronic File Interchange (EFI), also referred to as bulk enumeration, is a process by which physician and other health care providers (hereinafter simply referred to as provider) or group of providers can have a particular organization (the EFIO) apply for NPI on their behalf. In other words, rather than a provider or group of providers submitting a paper or web NPI application, the EFIO obtains an NPI for him/her/them.

What makes EFI so unique is that one file can contain hundreds or thousands of providers' applications. By submitting these applications both simultaneously and electronically, the administrative and financial burdens for both the provider community and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are greatly reduced. These benefits are enhanced because EFI can also be used to change or update a provider's existing NPI information.

See the CMS Electronic File Interchange Summary(www.cms.hhs.gov) for more information on the EFI process.

What is my taxonomy number?

Physicians may report primary and secondary taxonomy codes in the NPI application. For instance, a family medicine physician specializing in adolescent medicine might report a primary code for family medicine, 207Q00000X, and a secondary code for adolescent medicine, 207QA0000X.

Family Practice207Q00000X
Family Practice: Addiction Medicine207Q00000X: 207QA0401X
Family Practice: Adolescent Medicine207Q00000X: 207QA0000X
Family Practice: Adult Medicine207Q00000X: 207QA0505X
Family Practice: Geriatric Medicine207Q00000X: 207QG0300X
Family Practice: Sports Medicine207Q00000X: 207QS0010X
General Practice208D00000X
Hospitalist208M00000X
Emergency Medicine207P00000X
Emergency Medicine: Emergency Medical Services207P00000X: 207PE0004X
Emergency Medicine: Medical Toxicology207P00000X: 207PT0002X
Emergency Medicine: Pediatric Emergency Medicine207P00000X: 207PP0204X
Emergency Medicine: Sports Medicine207P00000X: 207PS0010X
Emergency Medicine: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine207P00000X: 207PE0005X
Internal Medicine207R00000X
Internal Medicine: Addiction Medicine207R00000X: 207RA0401X
Internal Medicine: Adolescent Medicine207R00000X: 207RA0000X
Internal Medicine: Allergy & Immunology207R00000X: 207RA0201X
Internal Medicine: Cardiovascular Disease207R00000X: 207RC0000X
Internal Medicine: Clinical & Laboratory Immunology207R00000X: 207RI0001X
Internal Medicine: Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology207R00000X: 207RC0001X
Internal Medicine: Critical Care Medicine207R00000X: 207RC0200X
Internal Medicine: Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism207R00000X: 207RE0101X
Internal Medicine: Gastroenterology207R00000X: 207RG0100X
Internal Medicine: Geriatric Medicine207R00000X: 207RG0300X
Internal Medicine: Hematology207R00000X: 207RH0000X
Internal Medicine: Hematology & Oncology207R00000X: 207RH0003X
Internal Medicine: Hepatology207R00000X: 207RI0008X
Internal Medicine: Infectious Disease207R00000X: 207RI0200X
Internal Medicine: Interventional Cardiology207R00000X: 207RI0011X
Internal Medicine: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)207R00000X: 207RM1200X
Internal Medicine: Medical Oncology207R00000X: 207RX0202X
Internal Medicine: Nephrology207R00000X: 207RN0300X
Internal Medicine: Pulmonary Disease207R00000X: 207RP1001X
Internal Medicine: Rheumatology207R00000X: 207RR0500X
Internal Medicine: Sports Medicine207R00000X: 207RS0010X

For family nurse practitioners, the taxonomy code is 363LF0000X.

For family medicine clinical nurse specialist, the taxonomy code is 364SF0001X.

Physician assistants in the medical practice are assigned taxonomy code 363AM0700X.

For students, taxonomy code 390200000X is assigned.

Interns should report the general practice taxonomy code 208D00000X.

Residents should report the taxonomy code for the specialty of the residency program.

If applying for an NPI for an organization, a group taxonomy code may be required. For taxonomy codes, a group practice is defined as a business entity under which one or more individuals practice. A group does not require multiple professional providers.

A single provider group is a valid group and would be identified by the business entity name. For example, John Doe, PC. For single specialty groups, the taxonomy code is 193400000X. For multispecialty groups, the taxonomy code is 193200000X.

What happens with my NPI if my information changes or I quit practicing?

You must notify the enumerator of any changes within 30 days of the change. Most changes will not change your NPI number. Only rare circumstances such as fraudulent use of your NPI number will require that you be issued a new number.

You can change the information in your NPI file online(nppes.cms.hhs.gov). You may either create a user ID or, if you have one already, log in and update your information. Download the form(www.cms.gov) to make your change by mail.

Should I share my NPI with anyone?

Yes. Like UPIN numbers that were used prior to the establishment of the NPI, other physicians and providers to whom you refer will need your NPI number in order to submit claims for services for patients you refer to them.

If another party does billing on your behalf, that party will need your NPI.

You may also need NPI numbers from hospice and home health agencies and other physicians in order to bill for your services.