Are veterinarians eligible to obtain NPIs?
Veterinarians are not eligible for NPIs because they do not meet the regulatory definition of “health care provider” as defined at 45 CFR 160.103. However, if a veterinarian fulfills the definition of “health care provider” in a profession other than furnishing veterinary services (for example, if a veterinarian is also a nurse practitioner and, as a nurse practitioner, meets the definition of “health care provider”), the veterinarian would be eligible for an NPI but would select a Nurse Practitioner code (not a Veterinarian code) from the Healthcare Provider Taxonomy Code Set when applying for an NPI.
Please be advised that just because the Healthcare Provider Taxonomy Code Set has a code for “Veterinarian” does not mean a veterinarian is a “health care provider” and, thus, eligible for an NPI. Any entity that insists veterinarians obtain an NPI are attempting to require veterinarians to obtain NPIs fraudulently (i.e., because the NPI Application/Update Form and its Internet equivalent require that the NPI applicant indicate that he/she/it meets the regulatory definition of “health care provider” and a veterinarian does not).