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Medicare NPI registry ends up revealing confidential information

The NPI registry, also called the National Provider Identification registry, is a digital database of all Medicare providers. In a system that handles millions of pieces of confidential information, though, you will find weaknesses. The newest NPI database discloses extra data that opens the door for some interesting Medicare fraud.

Article source: Medicare NPI registry reveals confidential information

 NPI registry

The Medicare system is a very complicated bureaucratic maze that depends on the NPI registry, National Supplier Clearinghouse numbers and Medicare Administrative Contractors. Released very lately, the NPI Registry database was named the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System. The NPPES was intended to simplify the payment of Medicare claims. Within the end, though, the NPPES also gives out the National Supplier Clearinghouse number of a provider, which opens up both patient and provider information.

Info on NPI registry

The National Provider Identification registry works along with various other cogs in the Medicare system. With just the NSC number and a patient's claim number, any person can access information on payment of claims, a patient's diagnosis and procedures, and more. In other words, the new NPI registry opens up the bones of the Medicare payment system to some possible exploitation.

Fixing troubles with NPI registry

Contacting the three major arms of the Medicare payment system to ask about the NPI registry problem resulted in being given the runaround, as reported by Home Care Magazine. The suggestion of deleting the NPI data from the database means that a provider might not get paid. In other words, this means that providers have to determine between being paid by Medicare for services they provide, or safeguarding the personal info of the doctors and patients. Though various solutions very easily coded by dedicated programmers are suggested, the NPI registry has yet to said they will be implementing any of them.

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Home Care Magazine