NRPM: Standard Health Care Provider Identifier. b. Need to Convert

05/07/1998

Because there is no standard provider identifier in widespread use throughout the industry, adopting any of the candidate identifiers would require most health care providers, health plans and health care clearinghouses to convert to the new standard. In the case of the NPI, all health care providers would have to convert because this identifier is not in use presently. As we pointed out in our analysis of the candidates, even the identifiers that are in use are not used for all purposes or for all provider types. The selection of the NPI does not impose a greater burden on the industry than the nonselected candidates, and presents significant advantages in terms of cost- effectiveness, universality, uniqueness and flexibility.