Physician Practice

New NPPES version takes more information, easier on enrollment surrogates

Physician Practice Insider, May 26, 2017

If you complete enrollment on behalf of your providers as part of CMS' surrogate program, you’ll have an easier time with the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) step in the process thanks to recent changes.

CMS’ NPPES registry, through which providers get and maintain their national provider identifier (NPI) numbers, went to version 3.0 on May 15. According to David Zetter, president of Zetter Healthcare Management Consultants in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who was a beta-tester for the new version, NPPES now allows surrogates to access NPPES and the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) for all the providers they represent with the same login.

“Before you can do anything, you need an NPI, and you get that through NPPES,” says Zetter. “Surrogates have been waiting for NPPES 3.0 so the system would work in conjunction with the surrogacy program. Now any surrogate can have access to all their provider accounts in NPPES just as they do in PECOS.”

And with NPPES 3.0 you don’t need the physician login; the surrogate login will do, says Zetter. “And you can create an NPI for any provider or entity yourself with your login.”

Other NPPES changes

  • More information can be entered. Previously you could enter only one practice location and one business address at a time in NPPES. Now you can add information for multiple locations. You also can add practice hours and languages spoken. 
  • Information is easier to download. In the old system, if you wanted a record of the complete information in the NPPES file, you had to make screenshots, says Zetter. The new system lets you print out the whole record for the NPI and save it as a PDF. “It generates the NPPES email as before with the taxonomy and NPI number — the one all the payers want for proof of enrollment — but that email has only a little information,” he says. “Now you can also pull down a full printout of what’s in the file. That wasn’t available before.”

“The old system was bare-bones and even though it was simple, it was difficult to work through to obtain a copy of the entire file,” says Zetter. “This one is a little different and you have to get used to it, but once you do, you get much more, and more accurate, information."

Editor’s note: You can learn more about the new NPPES, recent changes to PECOS and the CAQH practice administrator module during the webinar Provider Enrollment 2018: What’s New That You Need to Know Now with David Zetter on June 28. Register at


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