Separators in NCPDP Telecom Format
NCPDP telecommunication format relies on non-printable ASCII characters to denote segments and fields.
NCPDP batch standard adds several more non-printable separators to indicate the start/end of transactions and headers/trailers. This is needed to package multiple NCPDP telco transactions in the same file.
Non-printable characters are shown as spaces in all browsers and in many text editors. This makes it difficult to work with text containing hidden characters. To solve this problem, more advanced editors and IDEs show small symbols representing non-printable characters, such as ␞ and ␜.
Our NCPDP viewer follows the same approach. It automatically replaces all separators with their symbolic representation, so they become visible.
Note that the internal codes of these nifty symbols are different from the actual codes mandated by NCPDP. In fact, each symbol is a special Unicode character consisting of two bytes as opposed to a non-printable byte-size ASCII separator. This means that you need to be careful copying and pasting text with symbols; your NCPDP software may choke on it. Our NCPDP parser (the software library powering our NCPDP viewer and other products) supports both ASCII separators and their symbolic Unicode representation.
Here is the list of all NCPDP telecom/batch separators and their corresponding symbols:
|Type of separator
|Separator’s hex code
|Symbol’s hex code
|Start of transaction or header/trailer
|End of transaction or header/trailer
|Group (separates Patient and Claim segments)
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