A Medicare Provider Transaction Access Number, known as a PTAN, is a way to track Medicare providers during claims processing, according to WPS Health Insurance. Providers also need their number in order to receive information from the Medicare system.
A provider's PTAN is the same as the previously issued Unique Provider Identification Number, referred to UPIN, which is no longer being used, explains WPS.
Prior to receiving a PTAN, providers must acquire a National Provider Identifier, or NPI, in order to be recognized in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, standard process. Once a provider receives its NPI, it can send a completed provider enrollment application to the Medicare Administrative Contractor's Provider Enrollment department. If approved, the MAC Provider Enrollment department issues a PTAN.