HIPAA establishes and requires unique identifiers for:
- Employers – EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is issued by the Internal Revenue Service and is used to identify employers in electronic transactions.
- Providers – NPI, or National Provider Identifier, is a unique 10-digit number used to identify health care providers.
- Health plans – There is no longer an adopted standard to identify health plans.
- Patients – There is no adopted standard to identify patients.
NPIs and EINs must be used on all HIPAA transactions.
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