Corporate Compliance

Identifier fields in the UB-04

Compliance Monitor, March 9, 2007

Q: The UB-04 requirements are only for nine characters in fl76-fl79 line 1, Secondary Identifier field. But the Michigan state license, which is used for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and all of our commercial payers, is 10 characters long. Can you explain why this is?

A: You are correct in noting that the secondary identifier field in FL76-79 has room for only nine characters. The NUBC sought to provide a secondary identifier such as the UPIN or SSN/TIN number. We felt that the NPI should be used as the primary identifier - including using the NPI as a reference to any state licensure number. If the BCBSM and the commercial payers need to have the state licensure number always reported, the NUBC would be willing to examine a request from these organizations to accommodate such reporting. One way would be to utilize the Code-Code field FL81 - establishing a qualifier to denote Attending, Operating, or Other caregiver's State Licensure number.

Thanks to George Arges, senior director of the American Hospital Association, for answering this question.

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