A health care provider's National Provider Identifier number can be found online through searching the NPI Registry maintained as part of the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System at NPIRegistry.CMS.HHS.gov, notes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Searches are performed by NPI number or by the provider's demographic information.
If a user knows the provider's 10-digit NPI number, she can search the NPI Registry to verify the number and the health care provider's name, address, phone number and specialties, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. If the user does not know the NPI number, she can search for individual or group providers by inputting the organization or individual's name, city, state, country or ZIP code.
All covered health care providers, health plans and health care claim clearinghouses must use the NPI number when electronically transmitting health information, explains the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This mandate, one of the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, was intended to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of data transmission among the covered entities' administrative and financial transactions. The HIPAA regulations also require health care providers share their NPI number with other organizations for billing purposes.