NPI – Someone needs to get a real job

Who thought this NPI (National Provider Identifier) would be a good idea? What bored non-working bureaucrat with too much time on their hands (and has never held a ‘real’ job) decided to bring hell down upon us hard working pharmacists? Oh wait:

The Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandated the adoption of a standard unique identifier for health care providers. The National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) collects identifying information on health care providers and assigns each a unique National Provider Identifier (NPI).

Thanks Hillary, you fucking twat. DrugNazi set me straight (for once). Hillary is still a twat for reasons not gotten into here (this is a pharmacy blog, not a place to voice my political opinions).
For those of you not in pharmacy, currently Providers are identified by insurance companies as so:
Pharmacies: NABP/NCPDP number. Its 7 digits long.
Doctors: DEA Number. Its 2 letters and 7 digits long. Or a Tax ID Number.
Easy isnt it. Short, sweet, and has been effective for the last 100 years.
Now everyone has to apply for a NPI number. Thats right, a NEW number that we all know ALL insurance companies will have installed flawlessly in their software so there will be NO slowdowns in processing. Right, until you get that doctor who has not gotten his yet, and refuses to give it to you. So for this to work, EVERYONE needs to get an NPI number, swap it amongst each other like Garbage Pail Kids cards and assume that the insurance companies have their shit together and everyone added.
So lets take a solution, and run madly around finding a problem. Sounds like HIPAA

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12 Comments

  1. FDPharmD says:

    Don’t forget if we as pharmacists want to use the national database to look up a doctor’s NPI number we have to pay for it…no one else, just the pharmacies…how nice!

  2. Crystal says:

    We ended up making some phone calls and finding out our NPI a week or so ago. The damned thing is about twice as long as anything else we need to remember.

  3. #1 Dinosaur says:

    You neglected to mention that the NPIs are 10 digits long and have no “embedded information” like state or specialty. 10 random digits = 90 ways to make a single-digit mistake. What fun.

  4. By the way, I meant no disrespect of your blog title in my 3rd comment on Nurse Ratched’s Place’s posting (in which I retort to Universal Health blog’s criticism of nursing blog titles such as Nurse Ratched and others and nurses’ word choices in their blog postings):
    http://nurse-ratcheds.blogspot.com/2007/04/in-defense-of-nurse-ratched.html
    I simply used your title to make a tongue-in-cheek point about “stereotypes” and how they don’t mean anything in blog titles, etc.

  5. walgslave says:

    im guessing you had to call ESI and got their dummy msg about if you do not process with your npi all claims will be rejected. oh such bs.

  6. NocturnalDoc says:

    I’m a doctor and I don’t have one of those yet! Wonder if that is going to be a problem?

  7. MLO says:

    Well, let’s see, every number the government has ever come up with has been corrupted – SSNs are NOT unique, by the way. (Misspent career time in banking taught me that.)
    What’s the best solution for the problem of numbers no longer being useful for whatever nefarious purpose the government has? (Higher taxes is undoubtedly part of the plan.) Why, blimey, I do believe a new numbering scheme will do the trick.
    In case I’m not clear here, the above is heavily dosed with sarcasm.
    The reality is that there are so few _real_ security measures in place to protect any entity from being mistaken by another entity, it is little wonder that the best they can ever come up with is another numbering scheme.
    Pax,
    MLO

  8. filet says:

    THANK YOU for adding us! We want the exposure!!!!
    Filet

  9. Easy NPI says:

    Here’s a site that is bound to save thousands of hours and numberless trees if everyone will just play along… http://www.npibase.org … check it out.

  10. John Hebert says:

    I have been a practicing pharmacist for 47 years and a store owner for over thirty years and until we can put together a national pharmacists call in sick day and force the closure of most of the nation’s drugstores for at least one day we will never know the clout that we have.
    And, we will have to continue to work with all this garbage foisted upon us by the bureaucrats who have never had to spend a day in the trenches like us.

  11. Sammy C says:

    I have been a legalized pill pusher for 34 years, only hating the ‘what used to be profession’ for 37 years.( counting school). I have a myriad of sarcastic comments about our job, but one of my favorites is that there is a salient reason we sell KY JELLY. Think of all the times we’ve had to bend over.

  12. Brad Jensen says:

    Here’s another free place to look up npi numbers anywhere in the USA.
    http://www.freenpisearch.com
    free npi search is pretty easy to remember

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