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Public Use Data File Format Specifications

Notes to Previous Users of this File

UpdateJune 30, 2017

Beginning with June 30, 2017 version of the Public Use File, a new ".CSV" version of the Public Use File will be available for download along with the ".POR" and ".DAT" versions.

UpdateDecember 31, 2016

Beginning with the December 31, 2016 version of the Public Use File, a new adverse action classification code (code 1351) and its label has been added for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5. A description for one adverse action classification code (code 1179) has been changed. The description of code 1179 (Prescriptive Authority Action, Specify) was changed to Prescriptive/Dispensing Authority Action, Specify for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5.

UpdateJune 30, 2016

Beginning with the June 30, 2016 version of the Public Use File, a description for one occupation/field of licensure code (code 1383) has been changed. The description of code 1383 (Intermed. Care Fclty For Mentally Retarded/Substance Abuse) was changed to Intermed. Care Fclty For Intellectually Disabled/Substance Abuse for the variable LICNFELD.

UpdateNovember 17, 2014

Beginning with the November 17, 2014 version of the Public Use File:

  • Two new adverse action classification codes (codes 1151 and 1179) and their labels have been added for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5.
  • Beginning with the November 17, 2014 version of the Public Use File, 21 new occupation/field of licensure codes (codes 76, 142, 176, 211, 281, 374, 471, 551, 604, 605, 613, 637, 649, 652, 653, 658, 662, 664, 665, 667 and 668) and their labels have been added for the variable LICNFELD.
  • Beginning with the November 17, 2014 version of the Public Use File, labels for occupation/field of licensure codes (codes 15, 25, 100, 150, 660, 270, 642, 501, 503, 530, 758, and 810) have been updated for the variable LICNFELD.

UpdateJune 30, 2013

On May 6, 2013, NPDB and HIPDB were merged into one Data Bank under Section 6403 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Public Law 111-148, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010. All HIPDB data were transferred to the NPDB. As a result, users of the Public Use file may see a difference in the number of reports beginning with the June 30, 2013 version.

Beginning with the June 30, 2013 version of the Public Use File, SEQNO field size has been increased from 6 digits to 8 digits. Two additional fields NPGARPT and NPCTMRPT have been added.

UpdateMay 6, 2013

Beginning with May 6, 2013, thirty-three adverse action classification codes (1521, 1531, 1533, 1536, 1539, 1552, 1556, 1561, 1563, 1566, 1579, 1580, 1581, 1582, 1583, 1584, 1588, 1598, 1599, 3231, 3234, 3521, 3538, 3539, 3579, 3580, 3581, 3582, 3583, 3584, 3588, 3598, and 3599) and their labels have been added for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5. Ten adverse action classification codes (1520, 1530, 1532, 1550, 1560, 1562, 1565, 1589, 3232, and 3589) and their labels have been retired for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5. One new basis for action code (72) and its label has been added for the variables BASISCD1, BASISCD2, BASISCD3, BASISCD4, and BASISCD5.

UpdateSeptember 30, 2012

Beginning with the September 30, 2012 version of the Public Use File, two new Entity Type codes (code 110 and 170) and labels have been added for the variable TYPE.

UpdateJuly 31, 2011

Beginning on July 31, 2011, the variable "accrrpts" will be included in the Public-Use file. Due to this additional variable, the total number of variables in the Public-Use file is 52.

UpdateJune 30, 2010

Beginning with the June 30, 2010 version of the Public Use File, two new adverse action classification codes (codes 1338 and 1339) and their labels have been added for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5.

UpdateMarch 30, 2010

Beginning with the March 30, 2010 version of the Public Use File, one new basis for action code (code 21) and its label has been added for the variables BASISCD1, BASISCD2, BASISCD3, BASISCD4, and BASISCD5.

UpdateJune 30, 2009

Beginning with the June 30, 2009 version of the Public Use File:

  • Seven new occupation/field of licensure codes (codes 501, 502, 503, 504, 540, 607 and 759) and their labels have been added for the variable LICNFELD.
  • Fifteen new adverse action classification codes (codes 1283, 1297, 1514, 1615, 1637, 1638, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1655, 1656, 1682, 1696, 1735 and 1796) and their labels have been added for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5.
  • Nineteen new basis for action codes (codes 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 35, 36, 37, 50, 70, 79, 84, AH, D4, D5, D6, D7, D8 and E6) and their labels have been added for the variables BASISCD1, BASISCD2, BASISCD3, BASISCD4, and BASISCD5.
  • Two adverse action classification codes (codes 1950 and 3950), and one basis for action code (code 10) have been retired.
  • Two descriptions of Occupation/Field of Licensure codes (codes 500 and 758) have been changed. The code number and description of code 500 (Medical Technologist) was changed to code 501 (Medical/Clinical Lab Technologist). The description of code 758 (Long-Term Care Administrator) was changed to Long-Term Care/Nursing Home Administrator.
  • 3-digit TYPE codes and their labels have been added.

UpdateSeptember 30, 2007

Beginning with the September 30, 2007 version of the Public Use File, twenty new adverse action classification codes (codes 1138, 1146*, 1310, 1325, 1335, 1340, 1345, 1346, 1347, 1348, 1349, 1373, 1389, 1399, 1480, 1482, 1485, 1495, 1496, 1634 and 1639) and their labels have been added for the variables AACLASS1, AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5.

*Note of Change in Meaning of Code: Effective with the September 30, 2007 data file, Adverse Action Classification Code 1146 was reassigned to "Voluntary Limitation or Restriction on License". In earlier data files, code 1146 was used for "Reprimand, Censure, Voluntary Surrender of License (Individual) (Legacy Reports Only)." Code 1144 is now used for this category.

UpdateDecember 31, 2005

Beginning with files dated December 31, 2005 and later, four new field of license codes (codes 148, 165, 175, and 470) have been added for the LICNFELD variable and the description of LICNFELD in this documentation was updated to reflect the additions. Users should be cautious in interpreting results involving the new codes. Although these codes were first available to reporters on October 17, 2005, for this data file any previously filed reports which included a written in "other, specify" response that fit one of the newly available codes was coded to the new code in this file. However, reports which may actually involve a practitioner in a field with newly available code but which were actually reported using an old code could not be recoded to the new code. For example, a Certified Nurse Aide (new code 148) that was previously reported as a Nurse Aide (code 150) was not recoded to 148 since we have no way to tell from the record that the practitioner was actually a certified nurse aide. But if the individual was previously reported with "Certified Nurse Aide" written in the "other, specify" field, then the report was recoded to 148.

UpdateMarch 31, 2004

Important notice to users of files dated March 31, 2004 or later who used earlier versions of the NPDB Public Use File:

The March 31, 2004 and later versions of the Public Use File are substantially different from previous versions in both content and format. New variables have been added concerning malpractice payments. Some old variables have been dropped and old values converted to values for the new variables. Some variables have been renamed. These changes reflect modifications to the NPDB's malpractice payment reporting requirements effective January 31, 2004. Specifically, AGEGROUP has been re-named PRACTAGE; ALGNNATR, ALEGATN1 and ALEGATN2 have replaced MALCODE1 and MALCODE2; OUTCOME has been added; TOTALPMT has been added to represent all past and expected future payments for the reported practitioner for this particular incident. PAYMENT is retained. It represents, as it has in the past, the amount of the reported payment, which in most cases is the total payment. In addition, payment amount groupings have been changed for larger payments for the "PAYMENT" variable. These new groupings also apply to the new "TOTALPMT" variable. PYRRLTNS, which explains the relationship of the reporting entity to the reported practitioner, PTAGE, the age of the allegedly injured patient in 10 year increments, PTGENDER, and PTTYPE, inpatient, outpatient, or both, have been added. Only records reported on or after January 31, 2004 in the new reporting format include values for the new variables except ALGNNATR, ALEGATN1 and ALEGATN2. For older records these three variables have values translated from the previous MALCODE1 and MALCODE2 variables. The EXCLTYPE, EXCLSTAT, and EXCLYEAR variables have been deleted because all legacy format Exclusion records have been converted to new format Adverse Action records. The information previously found in these three variables is now found in the analogous variable in exclusion Adverse Action records. The RECTYPE variable was also changed to accommodate the new malpractice payment report type. Detailed information is provided below in the "Detailed Variable Information" section.

UpdateDecember 31, 2003

Beginning with files dated December 31, 2003 and later, this documentation file changed. The code list for the REPTYPE variable was updated.

UpdateJune 30, 2003

Beginning with files dated June 30, 2003 and later, this documentation file changed. The code lists for the following variables were updated: LICNFELD, MALCODE1, AACLASS1, BASISCD1, and TYPE. New date of first use and date of last use columns also have been added to the description of the values for some variables. The date of first use and date of last use columns indicate the dates that the values were offered as selection criteria for report submission. When no date of first use is provided, the value has always been available. When no date of last use is provided, the value is currently available. The format for the data file was not changed.

UpdateSeptember 30, 2002

Beginning with files dated September 30, 2002 and later, the format of the data file changed. The adverse action classification variable name (AACLASS) was changed to "AACLASS1" and four additional adverse action classification variables (AACLASS2, AACLASS3, AACLASS4, and AACLASS5) were included in the file. Therefore each record may have up to five adverse action classification codes.

UpdateApril 30, 2002

Beginning with files dated April 30, 2002 and later, the format of the data file changed. The basis for action variable name (BASISCD) was changed to "BASISCD1" and four additional basis for action variables (BASISCD2, BASISCD3, BASISCD4, and BASISCD5) were included in the file. Therefore each record may have up to five basis for action codes.

UpdateDecember 31, 1999

Beginning with files dated December 31, 1999 and later, the format of the data file changed. Records of exclusions from participation in Medicare and Medicaid (individuals only, not organizations) were added to the file and variables concerning exclusions were added. Beginning with the file of December 31, 1999, the payment amount variable also was changed. Ranges of payment amounts have been established and all payments within a range are coded to the midpoint of the range. In addition, beginning with the file of December 31, 1999, the variables included for adverse action records were changed. Files dated December 31, 1999, and later also contain revised variables for counts of the number of reports of various types for each practitioner. See the descriptions of the variables below for details concerning the new or changed variables.

UpdateSeptember 30, 1999

Beginning with files dated September 30, 1999 and later, the former "PROCYR" (year current version of the record was processed into the npdb) variable was changed to "ORIGYEAR" (year original version of the report was processed into the npdb). This variable does not change if a report is corrected or modified in a later year. The "TYPE" variable also replaced "ENTYTPDB" in the September 30, 1999 and later files. This reflects a change in entity type codes introduced during the summer of 1999. As reporting entities re-register with the NPDB, the type codes shown in this file will increasingly reflect use of the new codes; however since some reports included in this file were reported by entities which no longer exist or are no longer registered, some reports may permanently use the old entity type codes. See the explanation of "type" below.

UpdateApril 30, 1999

Beginning with files dated April 30, 1999 and later, each record contained the variable "FUNDPYMT," which identifies malpractice payments made by State Patient Compensation Funds. In most cases these payments are in addition to payments made for the same practitioner for the same incident by a primary insurer.