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


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.