National Provider Identifier (NPI)

What is an NPI?

An NPI is a unique 10-digit identification number used in standard health care transactions. It is issued to health care professionals and covered entities that transmit standard HIPAA electronic transactions (e.g., electronic claims and claim status inquiries). The NPI fulfills a requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). It also replaces all provider identifier numbers assigned by payers and is used by health care professionals. Covered entities under HIPAA are required by regulation to use NPIs to identify health care providers in HIPAA standard transactions.


Why should I get an NPI?

NATA strongly encourages all athletic trainers to get for their NPI.  Having an NPI improves recognition of athletic trainers as health care professionals across all settings.

“An NPI number is a professional requirement that adds credibility to the individual and the profession," said Amy Callender, NATA Government Affairs Director. "NATA encourages all members to obtain their NPI number, which will stay with them for the rest of their career, no matter their job setting or employer."


Additional reasons to apply for your NPI:

  • Be a leader; only about 35% of the athletic training profession have their NPI.
  • You only have to register once. This will be your NPI throughout your entire career.
  • It is a requirement to serve on any NATA committee.
  • It is mandated by many employers.
  • State practice boards and electronic medical records may require it.
  • There is power in numbers; NPIs can impact:
    • Reimbursement efforts
    • Sports Safety Legislation
    • Lobbying efforts
    • Recognition by CMS


For Students

As an athletic training student, you may or may not be familiar with the National Provider Identifier (NPI). As a student of health care, and on your way to becoming a health care professional, you should not only know what an NPI is, but should also have one. Approximately 750 athletic training students have their NPI. Change the culture and be a leader, apply for yours today.


How to apply

Applying for your NPI is quick, easy and free. Visit the CMS National Plan & Provider Enumeration System to complete your application today. Follow our Step-by-Step NPI Application Instructions (pdf) to apply today. 


Taxonomy Codes

Taxonomy codes categorize the type, classification, and/or specialization of health care providers.

  • Taxonomy code for an athletic trainer is 2255A2300X - SPECIALIST/TECHNOLOGIST - ATHLETIC TRAINER
  • As a student, you will enter 2 Taxonomy Codes to indicate you are a student of athletic training.
    • 390200000X Student in an Organized Health Care Education/Training Program
    • Upon graduation and the receipt your certification (and state license if available), simply log into your NPPES account and remove the 390200000X – Student taxonomy code and set your primary taxonomy code as 2255A2300X - SPECIALIST/TECHNOLOGIST - ATHLETIC TRAINER.

Once you have applied you can update your NATA member profile with your NPI number.