Regulators: Rejected Medicare claims no indication of NPI success

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Despite a spike in rejected Medicare claims, the implementation of the National Provider Identifier number requirement has met with no huge problems so far, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

About a quarter (24%) of Medicare claims and Medicaid claims (26%) were rejected on May 23, the first day the regulation took effect, according to an analysis by Emdeon Business Services. This compares to usual rates of 6% and 4%, respectively.

Most of the rejections stemmed from the use of old numbers being used to identify secondary providers. CMS has introduced a temporary measure to allow these claims if providers have extreme difficulty obtaining the NPI numbers for secondary providers.

While there do not appear to be any major issues with the new system, a CMS spokesman said the program is still too new to draw any conclusions. The extent of any problems should become clearer in the next few weeks, he said. The new rule governs Medicare and Medicaid claims made under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).