' News of the Day #439 - NPI update

1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

News of the Day ... In Perspective


NPI update

The Arizona Medical Association decided not to put out a “stat” alert to Arizona physicians to check their NPI information pending the outcome of next week’s AMA meeting. CMS is “flying in” to discuss the issues, and there may be an extended time period to correct entries before the database is released to the public. If there is no extension, the deadline is June 28.

At a CMS roundtable conference call June 14, the following points were made:

Doctors may wish to delete their home address if they entered it, and replace it with a business address. There is no specific box for the DEA number, which is publicly available from other sources. However, if a physician entered it in one of the boxes for other identifiers, he may wish to delete it. Otherwise protected information such as Social Security Number or taxpayer identification numbers will be released if the doctor has inadvertently entered them in a field that must be released.

Doctors who have an NPI can access their own information on the website at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/StaticForward.do?forward=static.npistart. If you are having difficulty, the NPI Enumerator might help you. Call (800) 465-3203.

CMS wants you to update your information as soon as possible. There may be an extension, but the agency is not willing to say whether or how long it might be at this time. A memo is to be posted on the NPPES website.

It is “very very very important” for individuals to look at their own data, because they are responsible for its accuracy. Updates of the downloadable file will be sent out periodically, but CMS wants the initial file to be as accurate as possible.

A questioner from an emergency facility asked what to do about self-referred patients, who don’t have an NPI from a referring physician. The answer is to continue whatever is being done now, such as using a surrogate UPIN, such as SEL000 for self-referred patients. There is also a code OTH000 for physicians without a UPIN. This should work at least until the date when the NPI is mandated, and that has not been determined. Legacy numbers are still being used because the NPI systems are not all working properly.

Other notes from the call:

  • A paper form will be needed to deactivate an NPI.
  • No information will be tracked on who accesses the publicly available database.
  • Officials on the call were not able to say whether your NPI could be located by a Google search on your name.
  • More than 2 million providers (more than 90% of the total) have obtained NPIs.
  • To get the downloadable file, you need to have a technically savvy person. No help is available. Others may go into competition to supply the file, one caller observed.
Disclaimer: the above information comes from my handwritten notes. You can listen to a tape of the entire 1.5 hour conference yourself until midnight June 20 by calling (800) 642-1687 and entering passcode 2460573. A transcript is to be posted after June 20.

You can submit feedback about the NPI at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand/07_Questions.asp#TopOfPage. If a sufficient number of people submit a question, it may eventually be answered in the FAQs.

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director, June 14, 2007


News of the Day Archive