NCPDP Transaction Header: Batch and Telecom Versions

The NCPDP Telecommunication standard requires that a header must precede every transaction.

The NCPDP batch standard introduces additional headers and trailers. It also slightly alters the format of the transaction header defined by the telecom standard.

The batch’s flavor of the transaction header starts with the ␂ (STX) separator followed by the “G1” identifier. The telecom’s flavor does not use separators, and there is no “G1”. It assumes that the header starts at the beginning of a transmission/file since the standard assumes only one transaction per transmission or file.

The batch’s header version also has one extra field called “transaction reference number” at the beginning. Here is its definition:

Supplemental payer defined number that allows the payer to match the Transaction Facilitator’s response. Ideally this should be the same value as 88Ø-K5 in the claim segment

Below is an example of the transaction header as per the batch standard:

␂G11234567890123456D1B101        1234567890123     202108210000000100

And here is the “plain” version of the header for non-batch environments. It misses the separator, “G1,” and the first ten characters constituting the “transaction reference number.”

123456D1B101        1234567890123     202108210000000100

Use our viewer to make sense of all the header fields in your NCPDP files.

Here is the list of all fields for reference purposes. All fields are fixed length.

Batch-only fields prepended to the telecom header:

Field Length
␂ (STX) Separator 1
G1 Segment Identifier 2
Transaction Reference Number 10

Telecom header fields (common between batch and telecom versions):

Field Length
Bin Number 6
Version/Release Number 2
Transaction Code 2
Processor Control Number 10
Transaction Count 1
Service Provider ID Qualifier 2
Service Provider ID 15
Date of Service 8
Software Vendor/Certification ID 10