NPI Train wreck in the offing?

May 23, 2007, is the general health plan compliance date for implementing the new HIPAA mandated, ten digit national provider identifier (NPI). Medicare plans to only accept the NPI on claims submitted on or after that date. Government Health IT magazine recently featured an article predicting that various logistical problems may lead to a messy implementation. “As of October [2006], CMS had issued slightly fewer than 1.3 million NPIs, or about 50 percent of the total 2.3 million CMS expects to issue.” It also is surprising that HHS has not yet issued the official dissemination policy for the NPI.