The HIPAA rule and its sub rules have been essentially made to ensure that health related
data of the consumers of health care and health insurance providers is protected. At the
same time, the rules also help the providers to adapt to the new pace of business and
increases their efficiency which again is for the benefit of consumers along with the
One of the sub-rules of HIPAA is the unique identifiers rule, and this rule requires several identifiers for the standardization, efficiency and consistency of the service provided to the customers.
There are some unique identifiers taken into consideration while applying these rules, let us look at them:
Standard unique employer identifier (EIN)
This corresponds to the Employer Identification Number (EIN) used on a company's federal IRS Form W-2. In HIPAA transactions, this identifies an employer entity.
National provider identifier (NPI)
The National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) assigns a unique 10-digit number to covered health-care providers and health-care clearinghouses.
Health plan identifier (HPID)
The Health Plan and Other Entity Enumeration System (HPOES) assigns the HPID to all health plans. An Other Entity Identifier (OEID) is assigned to entities that do not meet the definition of a health plan under HIPAA, such as third-party administrators. The HPOES also assigns an OEID to Controlling Health Plans (CHP) and Sub-health Plans (SHP).
Unique Patient Identifier (UPI)
HIPAA requires a unique patient identifier or UPI according to the HIPAA laws, but the HHS has not declared any rules regarding the use of this identifier.
Hence we can see that the HIPAA rules and their sub-rules are created by the government for the safekeeping of patient information and also to make the utilization of patient sensitive data in a responsible manner by health care and health insurance providers.
On the other hand, compliance with HIPAA and other rules formulated by the HHS safeguard the interests of the providers as well, due to which we follow these rules with sincerity.