NPI – The aftermath

The NPI deadline has come and gone. Whats the verdict?
Well, the insurance companies seemed to have their shit together (for once). I expected the same shit as when Medicrap part D hit the fan but only encountered minor bugs and glitches.
Doctors however need to get their heads out of their asses. Either that, or inform their front staff what the hell an NPI number is.
You have no idea how many times I heard “All the pharmacies are calling me for this NPI number! I don’t know what it is, and I don’t have it!” from doctors offices. Yeah honey, I realize your high school education didn’t prepare you for “real life”, but when everyone and their brother are calling you for something, don’t you think you should ASK someone else in the office so you don’t sound like a total ditz on the phone? Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you’re the doctors daughter, now you really have no excuse.
Also, if you are in hospital administration, and I’m calling you asking for a list of all the doctors in the hospital and their NPI numbers, don’t give me some bullshit excuse on why you cant fax me the list. Unlike you, I don’t like to sit on the phone (among my other pharmacy breatheren) and waste time calling your fat lazy ass 10 times a day for something on a list that would take you 2 seconds to fax to me. Seriously, its not a HIPAA violation to send me the list. You’re a friggin idiot for even thinking so. So I’m going to call you, 20 times a day, and every time I’m going to YELL at you for not sending me the list.
However many hospitals were on the ball, and immediately said “Whats your fax/email, i’ll send you the whole list”. To them, I (and the rest of the pharmacies in town) are grateful.
The best nut-kicker of this whole ordeal, is that to bill for Medicare part B stuff (and State Medicaide) we do NOT use the NPI numbers. Thats right folks, the feds make us switch to this new number, but they themselves dont use it. Why am I not surprised.
Oh, and have any of you seen how to calculate the checksum digit for the NPI number (to see if its valid). My small pharmacist brain cant handle that much mathmagic voodoo. Go look it up. Why cant it be as easy as the DEA checksum?

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20 Comments

  1. Judy says:

    Thanks for the headache. I made the mistake of googling checksum for NPI.
    Now I’m REALLY glad I don’t work in a pharmacy. The hoops they make you jump through!

  2. As far as your statement: “So I’m going to call you, 20 times a day, and every time I’m going to YELL at you for not sending me the list”, here is my response.
    I hang up on people who YELL at me.
    And I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if you’re the ATTORNEY FUCKING GENERAL.

  3. Oh, OOPS, and dang. I screwed up my first comment. Let me re-do it:
    As far as your statement: “So I’m going to call you, 20 times a day, and every time I’m going to YELL at you for not sending me the list”, here is my response.
    I hang up on people who YELL at me.
    And I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if you’re the SURGEON FUCKING GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.

  4. BlueTech says:

    eah, the checksum for NPI is insane. It uses the Lhn Algorithm (Which I don’t fully understand…go look on Wikipedia…and you have to attach “80840” to the front of any number to get it to work, for some reason (When checking the validity of the number, not when submitting it!)

  5. Brandon says:

    I liked our NABP #, it was 7 digits and easy to remember. I remember hearing express scripts automated system saying something about an NPI and processing claims. Then when I go to edit info on a doctor in our system, it warns me that there is no NPI # on file.
    I’ll go around today and see what I can’t get done!

  6. Pharmacy God says:

    How happy was I today?
    Had a new friggin’ nurse practitioner to add to the computer. Called the office to get the DEA and NPI so I could submit to the insurance.
    17 minutes and several holds later all I could get was the friggin’ state issued CTP number. That’ll help a lot to get paid for the claim.
    Best line from the receptionist…”What’s a DEA and NPI dumber”
    IDIOT

  7. Pharmacy God says:

    How happy was I today?
    Had a new friggin’ nurse practitioner to add to the computer. Called the office to get the DEA and NPI so I could submit to the insurance.
    17 minutes and several holds later all I could get was the friggin’ state issued CTP number. That’ll help a lot to get paid for the claim.
    Best line from the receptionist…”What’s a DEA and NPI dumber”
    IDIOT

  8. Jaime says:

    It’s been surprisingly smooth going for us. I believe Walgreens must have added NPI numbers automatically or something because we haven’t had to call any doctors. There must be a national database like there is for DEA numbers and Medicare Part D member info.
    However, Medicaid here uses NPI numbers, but only about 1/2 of the time. Claims process just fine from 6am to 6pm, but not from 6pm to 6am. After rebilling 24 prescriptions (that we had already sold and adjusted the copay on) yesterday morning, I called Medicaid who told me it must be our problem. Right, and that is why the completely different chain across the street is having the same problem. I forwarded the problem onto corporate who was told by Medicaid that the problem was fixed only to have the same thing happen again last night.

  9. webhill says:

    yeah, well, I’m a veterinarian, and I don’t qualify for an NPI number, and I am sick and damn well tired of pharmacists calling and insisting I give them one. I DO NOT HAVE IT, now fill the fucking phenobarb before my patient seizes himself silly.
    Sorry but really.

  10. becaru says:

    Peace, brother. Why not find a job that you like?

  11. Brandon says:

    I agree with that.
    It took me about 2 months to remember our NABP # at our pharmacy. I still don’t even know how medicaid provider ID #.
    Now we have to memorize an NPI #? Most doctors don’t even know their NPI’s. I try to call doctors offices when we get a slow moment at work, and they don’t even have a clue.
    Most of the time I do get a person who speak english can’t well.

  12. Erin says:

    I completely agree! You know what else is incredibly irritating – calling to get a DEA for a NP or PA and having the office say “They don’t have a DEA/NPI they aren’t a doctor”. NEWS FLASH – ALL PROVIDERS have a DEA/NPI. All of them. The state does not cherry pick through NP and PA’s assigning DEA’s and NPI’s randomly to whomever they feel!
    Tip of Advice: http://www.cdphp.com under the “Find a Doc” section allows you to search/obtain NPI’s for many practicing physicians (one less phone call, the better).

  13. Celesia says:

    Amen! Pharmacy man! It’s not just with NPI numbers and the doctor’s office with some cute dipshit answering the phone. Hey she maybe cute and cheap but these bitches don’t have a fucking clue how to run a doctor’s office. If doctor’s want help that has a clue, to know all the in’s and out’s of running an office, then pay more than $8 an hr and hire the ugly big girl that has it together!

  14. kevin says:

    i need to cross match dea numbers with npi numbers. How can I get a list from the govt? I work at a health plan. Thanks.

  15. the real deal says:

    why do pharmacists call in asking for NPI numbers from residents. They dont carry one.

    • EmilyPharmD says:

      residents do have one, but they may not carry one. insurance requires an NPI number to bill a claim, so all healthcare providers that can bill for service have one. this includes all prescribers. in some states, pharmacists are required to have an NPI number and in other states it’s optional. it is encouraged though, now that there are clinics where pharmacists are managing warfarin, etc. the site bob posted above is the best way retail pharmacists can find NPI numbers when trying to process a claim. hopefully Come Visit the Slaves, walgreens, etc., provide access to this site…

  16. the real deal says:

    by the way…I think some of you should start seeing patients as well, since you guys and gals seem too smart to be pharmacists…

  17. RphSlave says:

    Why NPI #’s cause if like our system is now they wont process a rx with out it. So if you are a resident…then I suggest making sure when we call to get that #, that your office allows us to put the rx under a Dr that does have one.

    Us Rph’s didnt come up with this clusterfuck. DEA worked fine.

  18. Jeff says:

    You use the luhn algorithm to verify checksums in NPI numbers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luhn_algorithm

    The stupid part about the standard is that you need to prefix the NPI number with ‘80840’ to actually pass the checksum.

    Generating a new NPI number is a bit more complicated, but is also described in that wiki.

    Now apparently NABP numbers are also supposed to pass the same sort of checksum, but I havent been able to find any specifics about this anywhere, and in my experience they dont pass the same checksum that works for NPIs, anyone have any idea about this?

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