According to an article published in American Medical News, by May 23, 2008, physicians must use National Provider Identifiers (NPI) when filing electronic claims; Medicare and other insurers will not accept claims without the NPI. Even though the deadline has already been extended by one year, many in organized medicine are still trying to get the deadline extended for even further stating that many physicians still aren’t ready.

The American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association are calling on other medical societies for support of the extension. In addition, these groups would like Medicare to continue to allow physicians to submit claims using both legacy and NPI numbers so as not to disrupt the claims process.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) continue to monitor physician usage of the NPI to assess if such an extension is needed all though industry officials expressed doubt that another extension will be granted. Recently, Medicare has been preparing payers to reject claims that are not NPI-only at the deadline. One reason many physicians are so reluctant to make the switch may be that they are worried that the industry as a whole is not ready and that physicians and other providers will be the ones to suffer when claims are not paid.