Frequently Asked Questions About the National Provider Identifier (NPI). What are the uses of the NPI?

11/22/2000

The NPI must be used in connection with the electronic transactions identified in HIPAA. In addition, the NPI may be used in several other ways: (1) by health care providers to identify themselves in health care transactions identified in HIPAA or on related correspondence; (2) by health care providers to identify other health care providers in health care transactions or on related correspondence; (3) by health care providers on prescriptions (however, the NPI could not replace requirements for the Drug Enforcement Administration number or State license number); (4) by health plans in their internal provider files to process transactions and communicate with health care providers; (5) by health plans to coordinate benefits with other health plans; (6) by health care clearinghouses in their internal files to create and process standard transactions and to communicate with health care providers and health plans; (7) by electronic patient record systems to identify treating health care providers in patient medical records; (8) by the Department of Health and Human Services to cross reference health care providers in fraud and abuse files and other program integrity files; (9) for any other lawful activity requiring individual identification of health care providers, including activities related to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.