The National Provider Identifier (NPI) is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Administrative Simplification Standard. A NPI is a 10-position, intelligence-free numeric identifier (10-digit number), which uniquely identifies a covered health care provider, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Covered health care providers and all health plans and health care clearing houses must use the NPIs in the administrative and financial transactions adopted under HIPAA.
All individual HIPAA-covered health care providers (physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, midwives, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, dentists, denturists, optometrists, chiropractors, clinical social workers, professional counselors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacy technicians, athletic trainers etc.) or organizations (hospitals, home health care agencies, nursing homes, residential treatment centers, group practices, laboratories, pharmacies, medical equipment companies, etc.) must obtain an NPI for use in all HIPAA standard transactions.