In March 2021, ACSM assembled a task force to determine how to streamline the reimbursement process for ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologists® (ACSM-EPs) and ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologists® (ACSM-CEPs).
The consensus? Get ACSM EPs and CEPs recognized as qualified health care professionals, or QHPs.
Well, what’s a QHP? According to the American Medical Association, a QHP is health care practitioner who (1) is listed on a professional registry, (2) possesses an accredited certification, (3) completes timely continuing education and (4) has earned an accredited education.
ACSM EPs and CEPs check boxes 1-3 already, and No. 4 is coming by 2027. (You can learn more about that process in the November 19, 2021, Programmatic Accreditation and the Exercise Professional Virtual Town Hall.) But ACSM-EPs and ACSM-CEPs can take an active part in promoting the profession — and its members’ recognition as QHPs — in one very specific and practical way: Register for an individual national provider identification (NPI) number.
Health care agencies, health insurance companies and other health care providers use NPIs to identify the QHP rendering services to their clients. ACSM-EPs and ACSM-CEPs can have both an individual NPI and a group NPI for the practice they work at, but right now, only about 4,000 of the roughly 18,000 ACSM EPs and CEPs have an individual NPI number.
NPI registration is free. Just follow these steps:
Create an account and complete the application process.
Enter the taxonomy code 224Y00000X.
If all of ACSM’s EPs and CEPs register for an NPI number, the profession will receive more visibility, and we will have removed yet another barrier between EPs/CEPs and their recognition as QHPs — and therefore reimbursement.