NPI Numbers

This page discusses NPI Numbers.

What Are They?
and Who Needs One?

An NPI (National Provider Identifier) number is a 10-digit unique identification number issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to US health care providers (nurses, physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, dentists, psychiatrists, counselors, pediatricians, social workers, etc.)

It is required that pharmacies have one as well, and each pharmacist has one; however, pharmacy technicians do not need one. 

Pharmacy techs will need to memorize their store's NPI or at least have a the number written down so they can reference it when it is needed. 

This will be helpful to know when speaking to prescription insurance companies when requesting overrides for customers medication. 

Usually the insurance company requests the it (or the NABP number, which is also a unique number, this one is issued by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) at the beginning of the call (along with your first name and initial of your last name, your callback phone number, title, prescription number and name of medication, name and ID number of the mutual customer, etc) in order to verify where you are calling from. 

The NPI replaced the UPIN (Unique Provider Identification Number) which was used in the past.

Without the NPI, health care providers (including pharmacies) cannot be paid by their insurance companies.  Insurance companies require the prescribers NPI and/or DEA Number transmitted to them each time a prescription is submitted to them for reimbursement. 

Without this information, the claim will most likely be rejected and the patients insurance will not be able to be billed.  A good resource for online NPI number and DEA number searches is the ERX network, which does require the pharmacy to subscribe to the service.

Also, health care providers cannot refer their patients to other practitioners who are in the insurance system, without a valid number.

More than that, all HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) business and services require it too. Once assigned, the NPI number is permanent.

There is minimal information required in order to obtain a NPI number. This information includes the Social Security number, date of birth, city and state, license number and country of birth.

A valid National Provider Identifier number consists of 10 digits where the first 9 numbers are the identifier and the last position is a check digit, to prevent errors.

In order to obtain a valid number, the health care provider must apply online through the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

The registration process is almost instantaneous. There is also available an online national registry for all NPI numbers, which began in September, 2007.

It is important to note that the National Provider Identifier does not replace the tax identification number (TIN) or the provider's social security number.

Top of NPI Numbers

Back to What is a Prescription?

Back to Home

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!

Didn't find what you were looking for? Use the box below to search this entire site.

Custom Search

Recent Articles

  1. 1 cap po tid x10/7 days amoxicillin 500mg

    Mar 17, 19 09:58 AM

    Amoxicillin 500 mg 1cap po tid x 10/7

    Read More

  2. I got thirty pills for Vicodin 7.5 my dr wants me to take half a pill in the morning and whole pill at night how long should that last me

    Mar 15, 19 11:57 PM

    I got 30 Vicodin I have to take a half of pill in the morning and whole pill at night how long should my script last me

    Read More


    Jan 13, 19 07:44 PM

    The USP797 rules state that no jewelry can be worn in the I.V. clean room setting because it wouldn't be sterile. I was wondering if silicone rings would

    Read More

  4. Did my pharmacist violate hips law today

    Jan 13, 19 05:34 PM

    While approaching my pharmacy counter today my pharmacist very loudly said Nicole I found out what was wrong with your suboxane P.A.Your Dr. Office done

    Read More

  5. When can it be refilled? 35 pills, 3 times a day, so it's not even.

    Jan 13, 19 04:50 PM

    35 pills, 3 times a day, so it’s not even. When do I refill?

    Read More

  6. Day Supply: Take 1 tab TID #100

    Jan 13, 19 04:26 PM

    Take 1 Tablet TID, dispense #100 Refills 2 What is the days supply for insurance?

    Read More

  7. IV vs. Oral Medication Pharmacology - Absorption or Metabolism

    Jan 13, 19 03:57 PM

    When a drug is given IV rather than orally, it eliminates the need for what? Absorption or Metabolism?

    Read More

  8. A question about Synthroid Vs. Sintrocid and drug milligrams?

    Jan 13, 19 03:37 PM

    What is the difference in 0.112mg in Synthroid and 100mcg in Sintrocid from Mexico? Would this be the same dosage?

    Read More

  9. Wondering About How Many Percocet Should be in my Bottle?

    Jan 13, 19 02:17 PM

    I had a prescription filled for my #120 Percocet on February 18th, how many of the pills should be in my bottle on March 16th? The directions are for me

    Read More

  10. How Does Nalexone Nasal Spray Help an Overdose Victim?

    Jan 01, 19 07:07 PM

    This page discusses, "How Does Nalexone Nasal Spray Help an Overdose Victim?"

    Read More

  11. Fioricet Script is for 60 pills take 2 every 8 hours How many days supply is that?

    Jan 01, 19 06:34 PM

    I have a script for Firocet. It says take 2 pills every 8 hours. It was written for 60 pills. How many days of supply is it?

    Read More

  12. Is it still a 20 day supply if “as needed” is written?

    Jan 01, 19 06:28 PM

    Percocet 5/325, qty: #60, take 1 tablet by mouth 3 times a day as needed for severe pain. Is this a 20 day supply, even though it says, “as needed?” Will

    Read More

  13. Suboxone film take 2 and 1/2 per day given quantity of 70.

    Jan 01, 19 06:16 PM

    How many days will #70 Suboxone Film last at a dose of 2 & 1/2 per day?

    Read More

  14. Diphenhydramine 25mg tablets Days Supply 2 tabs po qid #40

    Jan 01, 19 05:53 PM


    Read More

  15. Tresiba 200 units/ml insulin, 60 units sq qd: Days Supply and Quantity Questions

    Jan 01, 19 05:39 PM

    Tresiba 200units/ml 60 units sq qd How many individual pens will be used in 30 days and how many box(es) will be needed for a 30 day supply?

    Read More