Published Online: Friday, September 1, 2006

Beginning next month, important revisions to the Health Care Provider Taxonomy List for Pharmacy Services and Pharmacy Providers will take effect. The code list is a set of unique alphanumeric codes, 10 characters in length, which describe the types of patient care services offered by health care providers. The list is structured into 3 distinct "levels," including Provider Type, Classification, and Area of Specialization.

The Pharmacist Services Technical Advisory Coalition, a group of 7 pharmacy organizations, was instrumental in getting the revisions. The changes were announced by the National Uniform Claims Committee. The committee is 1 of 6 organizations mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 with the responsibility for the development and modification of standards for the electronic data interchange involving electronic health care claims.

The new categories include Geriatric, Oncology, and Compounding Pharmacy. Changes were made in the definitions for some existing pharmacist categories: Nuclear, Nutrition Support, Pharmacotherapy, and Psychiatric. The new categories are additions to the general categories for Pharmacist and Pharmacy. Providers (individual or entity) may have one or more taxonomy codes associated with them.

The code review was done in preparation for the implementation of a National Provider Identifier (NPI), as mandated by HIPAA. As a result, pharmacists and pharmacy entities that have already finished the NPI application process should assess the need to update the provider taxonomy code on their NPI record.

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