Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey will be using software from Portico Systems L.L.C. to comply with new federal provider identification number rules.

The federal government is setting up a National Provider Identifier program that will create unique identification numbers for physicians, hospitals and health care providers, to eliminate the need for providers to use different ID numbers for each health plan network.

Most health plans will have to start replacing their existing provider ID numbers with the new NPIs by May 23, 2007, according to Portico, Philadelphia.

Horizon, Newark, N.J., will be using the Portico NPI Solution program to move its provider network to the new NPI system, Portico says.

The Portico program includes a Web-based portal for collecting provider NPIs for all provider types, a system that will help provider network operations staff call up and update provider ID numbers, and a service that will help Horizon match old provider numbers with the new NPIs, Portico says.