Published Online: Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hospital and health care organizations who thought they had until May 23, 2008, to transition to the National Provider Identifier (NPI) on Medicare claims should think again.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an e-mail in October announcing January 1, 2008, as the new deadline for hospital billing. The agency said that it is changing the required date because a majority of providers have already made the transition, and "the change to NPI has been in successful operation for all institutional provider claims since June 2007."

The e-mail further stated that the provider may still submit NPI/legacy pairs, but claims with only a legacy provider identifier for the primary fields will be retuned as unprocessable. Legacy may still be used in secondary fields. For providers who are using both NPI and legacy to be reimbursed, CMS suggests they test a small group of claims using only NPI.

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