National Provider Identifier (NPI): The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 requires the adoption of a
standard unique identifier for health care providers.
The NPI Final Rule issued January 23, 2004 adopted the NPI as this standard. The NPI is a 10-digit, intelligence free numeric identifier (10 digit number).
Intelligence free means that the numbers do not carry information about health care providers, such as the state in which they practice or their provider type or specialization.
The NPI will replace health care provider identifiers in use today in HIPAA standard transactions.
Those numbers include Medicare legacy IDs (UPIN, OSCAR, PIN, and National Supplier Clearinghouse or NSC).
The provider's NPI will not change and will remain with the provider regardless of job or location changes.
(See: NPI Registry)
Access for all continues to be problem: