The Louisiana Medicaid program recently issued a notice for all providers stating that Louisiana Medicaid is in the process of developing a contingency plan for national provider identifier (“NPI”) implementation. The notice stated that the Department of Health and Hospitals (“DHH”) and Unisys will not be implementing the NPI only system changes on May 23, 2007. Providers submitting Louisiana Medicaid claims shall continue using their 7-digit provider numbers on all paper and electronic claims until DHH gives a future notice to use NPIs. Louisiana Medicaid providers must still register their individual NPIs with Louisiana Medicaid and continue their efforts towards the use of NPIs on all claims.

On January 23, 2004, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule adopting the NPI as the standard unique health identifier for health care providers. The rule, which became effective May 23, 2007, required all covered entities (i.e., health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses) other than small health plans to be in compliance with the NPI provisions by May 23, 2007. In light of concerns over the rapidly approaching deadline, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) previously stated that for one year from the compliance date (i.e., until May 23, 2008), CMS will not impose penalties on non-compliant covered entities that deploy contingency plans, as long as the covered entity has made reasonable and diligent efforts to become compliant and, in the case of health plans, to facility the compliance of their trading partners.

For the latest information regarding the Louisiana Medicaid program’s NPI implementation, go to