National provider-identifier deadline pushed back

When your mom let you out of cleaning your room, your professor postponed that big exam, the office called to reschedule your colonoscopy and the CMS relaxed your looming compliance deadline, the feeling is the same. Relief, followed by anxiety for what still must be done.
Healthcare leaders of various stripes have welcomed the news that the CMS, in effect, pushed back by up to one year the May 23 deadline to comply with the national provider identifier requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The reprieve, despite affected parties already having had nearly two years to get ready, came late in the afternoon Monday.
“CMS made the decision to announce this guidance on its enforcement approach after it became apparent that many covered entities would not be able to fully comply with the NPI standard by May 23, 2007,” according to a CMS statement. “This guidance would protect covered entities from enforcement action if they continue to act in good faith to come into compliance, and they develop and implement contingency plans to enable them and their trading partners to continue to move toward compliance.”
The long-delayed NPI has been a requirement under HIPAA, which passed in 1996, but the final rule adopting the NPI was not published until Jan. 23, 2004, and didn’t become “effective” until May 23, 2005, when the clock finally started on what was supposed to have been a two-year ramp up to implementation.
{One problem in setting up the National Health Information Network is that some physicians have not yet gotten their National Provider Identifier (NPI), a number to uniquely identify each physician in the US to facilitate the exchange of electronic health information. The government required all providers to obtain an NPI by May 23, 2007, but has relented for a year. The law requiring NPIs also requires unique patient identifiers (UPINs) to be assigned, which is a much greater threat to privacy. Congress has refused to pay for UPINs so far, effectively stopping that project. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}