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?
- Yep. Your employer, patients and significant others can look up your NPI.
- Use this website to look up your NPI number.
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
Social Security Number
State License Info
Date of Birth
Location of Birth
Practice Location Phone Number & Address
Name/Phone/Email of Contact Person
How to Apply for your NPI number
- Click here to apply for your NPI number (estimated time: 20 min)
- 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.
- Follow the refreshingly simple directions
- Keep track of your tracking number
- 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)
PO Box 6059
Fargo, ND 58108-6059
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