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  • Claims > Taxonomy Codes: Definition and Claims Use

    Taxonomy codes are administrative codes set for identifying the practitioner type and area of specialization for health care practitioners. Each taxonomy code is a unique ten character alphanumeric code that enables practitioners to identify their specialty at the claim level. Taxonomy codes are assigned at both the individual practitioner and organizational practitioner level.

    Taxonomy codes have three distinct levels: Level I is the practitioner type, Level II is Classification, and Level III is the Area of Specialization. A complete list of taxonomy codes can be found within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

    Taxonomy codes are self-reported, both by registering with the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) and by electronic and paper claims submission.

    Taxonomy Codes registered with NPPES at the time of NPI application are reflected on the confirmation notice document received from NPPES with the provider’s assigned NPI number. Current taxonomy codes registered, including any subsequent changes, may be obtained on an inquiry basis by visiting the NPI Registry website

    A practitioner can have more than one taxonomy code, due to training, board certifications etc. It is critical to register all applicable taxonomy codes with NPPES and to use the correct taxonomy code to represent the specific specialty when filing claims. This will assist EmblemHealth in more accurate and timely processing of claims. 

    Please provide Taxonomy codes on all EmblemHealth claims, the absence of these codes may result in incorrect payment.

    Taxonomy codes on electronic claim submissions with the ASC X12N 837P and 837I format are placed in segment PRV03 and loop 2000A for the billing level and segment PRV03 and loop 2420A for the rendering level. For paper CMS-1500 professional claims, the taxonomy code should be identified with the qualifier “ZZ” in the shaded portion of box 24i. The taxonomy code should be placed in the shaded portion of box 24j for the rendering level and in box 33b preceded with the “ZZ” qualifier for the billing level.

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    Glossary terms found on this page:

    A process by which a physician who has been tested for proficiency in a medical specialty or subspecialty, by a medical specialty board, has passed those tests and been certified as proficient in that medical specialty.

    A process in which an individual, an institution or educational program is evaluated and recognized as meeting certain predetermined standards. Certification usually applies to individuals; accreditation usually applies to institutions.

    An itemized statement of health care services and their costs provided by a hospital, physician's office or other health care facility. Claims are submitted to the insurer or managed care plan by either the plan member or the provider for payment of the costs incurred.

    The government agency responsible for administering the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

    A health care benefit arrangement that is similar to a preferred provider organization in administration, structure and operation but does not cover out-of-network care. Also called an Exclusive Provider Organization.

    A federal act that protects people who change jobs, are self-employed or have pre-existing medical conditions. The act standardizes an approach to the continuation of health care benefits for individuals and members of small group health plans and establishes parity between the benefits extended to these individuals and those offered to employees in large group plans. The act also contains provisions to ensure that prospective or current enrollees in a group health plan are not discriminated against based on health status and protects the confidentiality of protected health information of members. Also known as HIPAA.

    A federal act that protects people who change jobs, are self-employed or have pre-existing medical conditions. The act standardizes an approach to the continuation of health care benefits for individuals and members of small group health plans and establishes parity between the benefits extended to these individuals and those offered to employees in large group plans. The act also contains provisions to ensure that prospective or current enrollees in a group health plan are not discriminated against based on health status and protects the confidentiality of protected health information of members. Also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

    An organization comprised of individual physicians or physicians in group practices that contracts with the managed care organization on behalf of its member physicians to provide health care services. Also called an Independent Practice Association.

    Acronym for Medicare Advantage. An alternative to the traditional Medicare program in which private plans run by health insurance companies provide health care benefits that eligible beneficiaries would otherwise receive directly from the Medicare program.

    A medical practitioner or covered facility recognized by EmblemHealth for reimbursement purposes. A provider may be any of the following, subject to the conditions listed in this paragraph:

    • Doctor of medicine
    • Doctor of osteopathy
    • Dentist
    • Chiropractor
    • Doctor of podiatric medicine
    • Physical therapist
    • Nurse midwife
    • Certified and registered psychologist
    • Certified and qualified social worker
    • Optometrist
    • Nurse anesthetist
    • Speech-language pathologist
    • Audiologist
    • Clinical laboratory
    • Screening center
    • General hospital
    • Any other type of practitioner or facility specifically listed in the member's Certificate of Insurance as a practitioner or facility recognized by EmblemHealth for reimbursement purposes

    A provider must be licensed or certified to render the covered service. The covered service must be within the scope of the Provider's license or certification.

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