The NPI must be used in place of legacy provider identifiers, such as a Unique Provider Identification Number (UPIN), Online Survey Certification & Reporting (OSCAR) and National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) in HIPAA standard transactions. There are two categories of health care providers for NPI enumeration purposes. Entity Type 1 providers are individual providers who render health care (e.g., physicians, dentists, nurses). Sole proprietors and sole proprietorships are Entity Type 1 (Individual) providers. Organization health care providers (e.g., hospitals, home health agencies, ambulance companies) are considered Entity Type 2 (Organization) providers.
All health care providers who are HIPAA-covered entities, whether they are individuals (e.g., physicians, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, or pharmacists) or organizations (e.g., hospitals, home health agencies, clinics, nursing homes, residential treatment centers, laboratories, ambulance companies, group practices, Health Maintenance Organizations [HMOs], suppliers of durable medical equipment, pharmacies) must obtain an NPI.