What is a UPIN directory used for?


Quick Answer

The Unique Physician Identification Number Directory provided a limited amount of information on doctors, doctors of osteopathy, limited licensed practitioners and some nonphysician practitioners who participated in the Medicare program, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The public accessed these records to gain information about service providers.

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Full Answer

The information provided in the UPIN directory included the doctor's full name, specialty, zip code, state, UPIN, physician license state code and Medicare provider billing number. Patients and the public accessed this directory to gain this information about a doctor or health care provider included in the list, says the CMS.

This file received updates each quarter to include information changes and new doctors. Typically, the new data file became available to the public on Jan. 15, April 15, July 15 and Oct. 15, explains the CMS. Each time the file updated, the CMS considered it a replacement file, not an updated file.

The data format was text, and the file size was approximately 170 MB. Compatible software programs included Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL/DB2/Oracle, SAS or other statistical software. The file cost was $100, according to the CMS. The final update of 2007 in the second quarter is available as of 2015. In June 2007, the CMS discontinued the UPIN and replaced it with the National Provider Identifier.

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