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National Provider Identifier

The National Provider Identifier (NPI) is a HIPAA Administrative Simplification standard. The NPI is a unique identification number for HIPAA covered physicians and other health care providers. The NPI was adopted through regulation published in 2005. As of May 23, 2008, all HIPAA covered entities must use the NPI in administrative transactions adopted under HIPAA.

The NPI is a 10-position, intelligence-free numeric identifier (10-digit number). This means that the numbers do not carry other information about health care providers, such as the state in which they live or their medical specialty. The NPI must be used in lieu of legacy provider identifiers in the HIPAA standard transactions.

As outlined in the Federal Regulation, physicians must share their NPI with other health care providers, health plans, clearinghouses, and any entity that may need it for billing purposes. The NPI furthers the goal of standardizing health care transactions between physicians, various payers and clearinghouses.


CMS initiates NPI-IRS data match for legal business name

NPI Resources

NPI primer

Apply for an NPI - National Plan and Provider Enumeration System

NPI Frequently Asked Questions