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Healthcare Industry Number (HIN)

What is a Healthcare Industry Number (HIN)?

A healthcare industry number (HIN) is a unique 9-character, alpha-numeric code used to identify participants in the healthcare supply chain. The HIN was created to serve as a universal identifier for use during electronic communications and transactions. The HIN System is currently overseen and managed by the Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC)  and it is comprised of three separate databases: Human Health, Prescriber, and Animal Health, each of which is offered under a separate license.

Who needs a HIN?

HIN assignments currently identify more than 2.5 million locations and services worldwide and are used to identify organizations on every level of the healthcare supply chain. These organizations include providers, manufacturers, distributors, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), third-party consultants, and data intermediaries.

To receive a HIN, an organization must first fill out a Data License Use Agreement with the Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC). Following an additional application and a $100 fee, the HIBCC will then review its documents and assign the organization its HIN. To keep their HIN, an organization must pay an annual $50 renewal fee.

Why are Healthcare Industry Numbers important in healthcare?

HINs are especially valuable because of their flexibility. HINs can help to better identify healthcare facilities, as well as specific locations and departments within those facilities. This system was designed to allow authorized entities to cater the use of HINs to their partners while maintaining a standard that is recognizable by others in the industry.

Using HINs eliminates the need for administrative departments to cross-reference distinct identifiers across systems, lowering operational costs and minimizing potential errors. HIN information is available to hospitals and healthcare providers for free via the HIBCC as well as GPOs and other suppliers.