NPI number
Getting your PT NPI number is not as grueling as you'd think!

How to Apply for an NPI number for Physical Therapy

Before we get started, let’s talk about the NPI a little… 

What is an NPI Number?

NPI stands for National Provider Identifier. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issues a 10 digit number to healthcare providers in the USA.  NPIs have been issued since 2006, and have replaced the UPIN (unique provider identification number).

All licensed physical therapists must have an NPI to practice.

Why do Physical Therapists Need an NPI number?

If you think of an NPI number like a social security number or tax ID, it makes more sense.

  • If you use electronic medical records like WebPT, Clinicient, or TheraOffice, your NPI can be used to identify you and your patients’ records this way.
  • HIPAA transactions require use of an NPI.
  • Healthcare plans identify physical therapists by their NPI.
  • Not that you would do this, but your NPI is a good way to track any unlawful activity on your part.

Can anyone see my NPI?

How do I get an NPI?

  • Sometimes your employer will enroll you directly. Healthcare organizations can register for multiple NPIs for their employees.
  • Other times, you will be tasked with the enrollment process yourself (this will usually happen in smaller clinics, or when you are an individual provider.)

What if I Switch Clinics?

No problem…just add clinic locations as you go!  Visit https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/Welcome.do to make updates.

Information Required for Individual Providers

Your Name
Social Security Number
State License Info
Date of Birth
Location of Birth
Gender
Mailing Address
Practice Location Phone Number & Address
Provider Type/Taxonomy
Name/Phone/Email of Contact Person

How to Apply for your NPI number

  1. Click here to apply for your NPI number (estimated time: 20 min)
  2. If you are applying as an individual provider (almost definitely, if you’re a newgrad), click the left column and follow the directions.
    The process is as follows, per their website:

    • Use the Identity & Access Management System to create a log-in.
    • Use the (I&A) log-in to access NPPES.
    • Complete the NPI application. 
  3. Follow the refreshingly simple directions
  4. Keep track of your tracking number
  5. Your NPI number will be processed and sent to you by e-mail (the NPPES estimates 1-20 days)

Got questions?  Contact NPPES at:

1-800-465-3203 (NPI Toll-Free) | 1-800-692-2326 (NPI TTY)
customerservice@npienumerator.com
PO Box 6059
Fargo, ND 58108-6059

    Do you have questions for the NGPT team? Is there anything we can do to make your experience with this resource better?  Post in the comments below and we’ll get back to you ASAP.  You will need to register or login to comment.

    The author of this article put in lots of work to provide you with this information. Even though we try our best, there is no guarantee the article is error free. NewGradPhysicalTherapy.com, its staff, and its writers make no representation, warranty, or guarantee that this article and its contents are error-free.  NGPT will bear no responsibility or liability for the results or consequences of the information contained within.

    About Meredith Victor Castin

    Meredith Victor Castin
    Meredith is the co-founder of NewGradPhysicalTherapy.com and the founder of The Non-Clinical PT. She is originally from Tyler, TX and attended UPenn for undergrad, before graduating with her DPT from USA (San Diego) in 2010. She has worked in outpatient ortho, inpatient rehab, acute care, and home health. She loves spending time with her husband and 3 cats, and enjoys creating art and weird music.

    One comment

    1. Matt Geller

      Darn NPI numbers! This was super helpful, thanks!

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