NPI number

July 12, 2012

In May 2005, I registered for my NPI number. I have had this number for seven years. The pain that I endured while completing the application has subsided. I believe it took me five minutes at the most to complete. I am thankful that I took those few minutes to register and be recognized.

I have talked to people about the NPI number and there is much confusion. Let me answer some of these questions.

Many people do not understand what an NPI number is or why it is so important that ATs have one. First some history, in 2006 CMS changed the identifying number that is used for providers to the National Provider Identification number. It is sort of like your SSN in that it is yours forever and you use it no matter where you work. The NPI number is used for anything related to HIPAA. All HIPAA coverd health care providers must obtain an NPI number. Athletic trainers, being health care providers that may operate under HIPAA guidelines, are covered in this group.

Athletic trainers can also demonstrate the need for CMS recognition by holding an NPI number. The process takes a very short amount of time and is absolutely free. Even if you are currently working in a setting that does not require an NPI number, it is still important to have one. It is important for recognition in business and healthcare.

Within District 2 fewer than 50% of ATs registered. Legislators can look at this number in considering our legisation. What would you think if you see a profession that at least half of the members do not have a mandated provider identification number?

I believe I have explained the value to our profession of having an NPI number. I believe I have made it clear that it is important for each of us to take a few moments to register. Go to the link below and just enter your information if you have not done so. Encourage young professionals, newly certified, and veterans to register. It is free. It is easy. It is safe. It is important regardless of your setting.

https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/StaticForward.do?forward=static.npistart

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