Unique Physician Identification Numbers (UPINs) were assigned to physicians and other healthcare professionals by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) when they enrolled in Medicare.
UPINs are used to identify the individual who ordered or referred the service entered in a Medicare claims submitted by physicians/practitioners,
In 2007, UPINs transitioned to the National Provider Identifier (NPI). After 2007, NPIs are used exclusively to identify physicians and other providers.
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The NPI registry is updated regularly but not in real time. Additionally, some providers in the database do not keep their information up-to-date when their practice changes or moves.