The NPI (National Provider Identifier) is a number that all health care providers and health plans should apply for. The objective is to guarantee the safe and efficient delivery of health information through electronic means. The 10-digit number does not embed information about the individual provider or healthcare organization. The first nine digits are the identifier, while the last number is a “check digit,” which helps prevent the use of invalid non-pharmaceutical interventions, according to the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). The fastest way to apply for an NPI is online.
1 Go to NPPES at www.nippes.cms.hhs.gov and click on “National Provider Identifier” (NPI). Click “request an NPI” to access the application. Select secret questions and create a user ID and password that you will remember – the password can be changed only once every 24 hours and the user ID cannot be changed at all once created.
2 Organizations must complete the “Organization Profile” page. Enter the legal business name on file with the IRS, as well as the EIN that the IRS assigns you. List other names that your business goes by, or names previously used. Individual providers must complete the “Select Taxonomy” page, and provide the classification and specialty name. If applicable, enter your license number. Do not write your SSN or TIN in this section.
3 Complete the “Other Identification Numbers” page with PIN numbers, such as Medicare, Medicare UPIN, Medicare certification, Medicare and NSC state Medicaid number. Up to 50 additional numbers can be added, but they do not fit into your SSN or TIN in this area.
4 Complete the “Business Email Address” page and include the full address, phone numbers and extensions. If you are listing a country outside of the US that does not have a province, enter the name of the country in the province field. To obtain military addresses, the city must be APO or FPO. Mark the state as AE, AA or AP, and the country should be from
5 Check the tickets, submit and go to the processing page to get your tracking number. This number will be required for any correspondence regarding your application. Allow 15 business days to receive your number. If you do not receive the number within 15 business days, contact the NPI enumerator.
Tips and Warnings
- Applications for an NPI can also be made via postal mail and in bulk through an EFIO (electronic file Interchange Organization).