NPIs Viewed as Key to MTM Reimbursement
Pharmacy leaders are urging allpharmacists to obtain National ProviderIdentifiers (NPIs) from the government,predicting that the new IDcode could be one of the keys for securingcompensation for MedicationTherapy Management (MTM) servicesnext year.
The NPI is a standard unique identifierthat can be used to identify thepharmacist, physician, or other healthcare provider in transactions with federaland state programs such as Medicareand Medicaid and in claim transactionswith other third-party payers.
Pharmacists who electronicallytransmit any health informationbetween 2 parties to carry out financialor administrative activities related tohealth care will be required to obtainan NPI. According to the AmericanPharmacists Association, however, evenpharmacists who are not required toobtain an identifier should do sobecause "the NPI could become theprovider identifier for pharmacists providingMTM services"under the newMedicare Part D prescription drug benefitthat takes effect on January 1, 2006.
Pharmacists may apply for an NPIon-line at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov.A paper application can be obtained bycalling 800-465-3203.
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.