All health care providers covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) must begin using the standard unique identifiers for healthcare providers and health plans mandated by HIPAA no later than May 23, 2007. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services release on November 17, 2006, “every covered health care provide must obtain a new NPI … even providers that do not conduct electronic transactions and are not covered by HIPAA may be required by health plans or employers to obtain one.” CMS states that health care providers can apply for NPIs in one of three ways:

§      For the most efficient application processing in the fastest receipt of NPIs, use the web-based application process. Simply log onto the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) and apply on line.

§      Health care providers can agree to have an Electronic File Interchange (EFI) organization (EFIO) submit application data on their behalf if an EFIO requests their permission to do so.

§      Health care providers may wish to obtain a copy of the paper NPI Application/Update Form (CMS-10114) and mail the completed, signed application to the NPI Enumerator located in Fargo, North Dakota.

NPI information can be obtained at the CMS website at:

Information can be obtained from the NPI Enumerator at Phone: 1-800-465-3203 or Email: