Applying for an NPI and Tax ID to Bill Insurance
One of the early steps that you should take if you are opening a private practice is to establish your NPI and Tax ID. These identification numbers are what you will use to credential with an insurance company, and will also need to be noted on any subsequent insurance claims that you bill to the insurance company.
How to Apply for an NPI
In order to apply for an NPI you can visit nppes.cms.hhs.gov. This link will take you to the website where you can apply for an NPI as an individual provider or for your group practice. An NPI type 1 is the NPI that you will use as an individual provider. This number will follow you throughout your career in therapy and in any professional healthcare interaction. An NPI type 2 is the NPI that you would use for your practice. This NPI identifies your company and will stay with the company as long as it exists.
When it comes to billing, you have options on whether you would like to use your Type 1 or Type 2 NPI to bill, but it will ultimately depend on how you are credentialed, or how you choose to be credentialed in the future.
How to Apply for a Tax ID
Tax IDs are assigned by the IRS and you can click the link here to Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online. That will take you to the application that will generate an EIN for your practice. This usually takes a few minutes and will enable you to identify your organization according to a number that is not connected with you personally. The alternative to using an EIN is to use your Social Security Number, but we do not recommend this method of identification because your company’s EIN will need to be distributed to several entities and it is unsafe to use your EIN for this purpose.
The Role of the NPI and Tax ID in Billing
When you submit a claim to the insurance company, you will need to include several identifiers for you or your practice on the claim including your NPI and Tax ID. How you are credentialed with the insurance company determines which NPI and Tax ID you should submit on the claim. For some therapists, they may only have their business EIN as their tax ID and their individual NPI number that they submit on all claims. Others may have been credentialed using an individual NPI and Social Security number with one insurance company, but later credentialed with another insurance company using their group NPI and an EIN. In this case, that provider would need to use different information on their claims for each insurance company.
There are many other possible scenarios for combinations of identifying information for claims, and at Practice Solutions we help providers by keeping track of the necessary information to submit for billing so that claims can be submitted cleanly and processed quickly. If you are applying for an NPI and Tax ID, in the midst of the credentialing process, preparing to bill insurance, or experience rejections and denials, we offer a free consultation for you to understand how Practice Solutions may fit within your Private Practice. Contact us today to learn more!