To: All AAPS members who have applied for an NPI
Your DEA number and other sensitive information will be disseminated on the internet and accessible to the public—including identity thieves—on or before July 1 unless you act immediately.
When they completed their application for an NPI, physicians were not informed that much of the information was optional. Instead, they were led to believe that failure to complete all the questions would cause delays or outright denial.
Physicians were not told that almost all the data would be publicly disclosed, and probably assumed that it wouldn’t, in the light of the attached Privacy Act Statement. In fact, CMS is interpreting the Privacy Act to mean that only the Social Security Number, tax identification number, and date of birth are protected.
The identification of “optional” elements is buried in fine print in the instructions. They include DEA numbers, email addresses, unique insurance billing numbers, and Medicaid numbers.
You should have kept a copy of your application to see just how much you did disclose.
To update your application to delete the optional information, go to https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/StaticForward.do?forward=static.npistart. The only instructions that we know of are online at that website. You can request a paper application/update form by calling (800) 465-3203, but there may not be enough time to process your request before the end of the month, unless a delay is obtained.
CMS is holding a call-in session on Thursday, June 14, at 2 p.m. EDT on the Data Dissemination Notice. You must register by 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 to participate. Register here: http://www2.eventsvc.com/palmettogba/register/0137b417-74d0-4334-a2f1-f02e3ca13002
Alternately, you can listen to a replay by calling (800) 642-1687 and entering passcode 2460573 between 4 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 20.
If you have not applied for an NPI, perhaps you’d like to procrastinate a bit longer.