What is National Provider Identifier (NPI) Standard?

The National Provider Identifier (NPI) is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Administrative Simplification Standard. The NPI is a 10-digit, unique identification number for insured health care providers — created to improve the efficiency of electronically transmitted health information and delivered by CMS.

Why are NPIs important in healthcare?

The NPI Final Rule was published on January 23, 2004 and established NPI as the standard, mandating that all covered providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses use NPIs in their administrative and financial transactions.

Benefits of NPI standardization include:

  • Simplified electronic transmission of HIPAA transactions
  • Unique, standardized identifiers for health care providers, health care plans, and employers
  • Efficient coordination of benefit transactions