National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers are crucial to healthcare professionals in different roles. NPI numbers are ten-digit identifiers that provide universal identification of healthcare providers.
For most people, it might seem like an unnecessary step to assign a unique identifier to healthcare professionals in different roles. Why not just store their name, address, and other details as we do for all other professionals?
Well, there are plenty of good reasons healthcare providers have NPI numbers instead of just using their name or another identifier from their own organization! For one, it’s because the nature of the information these professionals deal with makes it necessary for them to have an identifier that is universally recognized in order not only to keep track of who they are but also to keep them safe from identity theft and fraud.
This article explains why every healthcare provider needs an NPI number in the first place.
Submit Claims for Easy Fulfilment
When a unique identifier identifies a healthcare provider, it makes it easier to submit claims to your insurance. The information will already be submitted in a format your insurance provider can easily understand simply by searching your provider’s name or NPI number.
This saves you time and effort when filing your claim and receiving reimbursement.
Prevent Duplicate Record Incidents
Another reason why healthcare providers need NPI numbers is to prevent duplicate record incidents.
Duplicate records of the same patient can happen with any provider involved with a person’s care. This can occur if the provider or staff fail to check the patient’s identification or if the patient fibs about their identity. Duplicate records can also occur if patients use different providers for different care needs.
To prevent these duplicate record incidents, each provider needs a unique identifier. This helps to reduce misdiagnosis and any potential harm that may result from misidentifying a patient.
Reduce the Risk of Patient Confusion
A provider’s identification number can be used to identify the provider’s specialty, the date the provider was certified, and the provider’s location.
The NPI number for a provider is displayed on all medical records, including prescriptions and other patient referrals. The NP ID is also displayed on all lab tests and patient imaging reports. This is a quick way for patients to see what provider they received care from.
Any confusion patients may have about providers is reduced by the use of NP IDs. Patients can see who the provider is at a glance and verify the provider’s credentials. This prevents confusion about which provider ordered certain tests or prescribed certain medications.
Help Solve Legal Issues
The NPI number can be used to help solve legal problems. If a patient has a medical condition that resulted in a lawsuit, the court will request the NP ID of the provider involved.
The NP ID is used to ensure that the provider being sued is the same provider involved with the patient. This prevents legal issues that come from misidentification. It can also help when it comes to identifying the provider’s level of licensure.
The healthcare industry is vast, and even the smallest mistake can have serious consequences. To avoid mishaps, providers need to have a unique identifier to track patient records and confirm licensure.
That’s where the National Provider Identifier (NP ID) comes in. And as you can see, the benefits of having an NPI number are endless.