The national provider identification (NPI) number is a 10-digit identification number assigned to health care providers by the federal government. This is the standard identifying number that has replaced the universal provider identification number (UPIN). Most providers had to obtain an NPI by May 23, 2008, or by May 2009 in the case of small providers. The NPI number serves several functions:
Note that the NPI number does not have embedded information that would allow another party to determine your location or phone number.
Key Facts about NPI Numbers
This means you only need to apply for an NPI once. If you change practices, change to another specialty, change contracts or move, the number stays the same.
Atypical providers may have more than one NPI. For example:
Obtaining an NPI
You can begin the process of obtaining an NPI online or call 1-800-465-3203 to request that a form be mailed to you.
Additional NPI Resources
For more information on NPI numbers, you can consult the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) frequently asked questions, or call the phone number for your region: