Prescriber NPI Number

SAS Name

The national provider identifier (NPI) number assigned to uniquely identify the physician or practitioner who prescribed the beneficiary's medication.

NPIs replaced Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) numbers as the standard prescriber identifiers in May 2013. This field also enables linkage between the Part D Event File, NPI is contained in a PDE field called the PRSCRBR_ID, and the CCW Prescriber Characteristics File


This variable was new in 2014; beginning with 2014 Part D Prescriber Characteristics File, the NPI is used in place of the CCW_PRSCRBR_ID. The CCW_PRSCRBR_ID was retired after 2013. Prior to 2014 data, the NPI on the Prescription Drug Event (PDE) file was not allowed to be released, in accordance with CMS privacy rules.

Prior to 2014 data, the proprietary HCIdea™ Prescriber Database was used to uniquely identify prescribers since a variety of identifiers were allowed on the PDE. HCIdea has prescriber information from a variety of data sources, including the NPPES directory (the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System, which assigns a unique NPI to each provider), the Drug Enforcement Administration (through data files known as the Controlled Substances Act Registrants), and SureScripts (a nationwide e-prescribing network). Using these input files, it is generally possible to identify a unique provider using an NPI, DEA number, and/or UPIN number.

The HCID (from the HCIdea data) was historically used to assign the CCW-assigned prescriber identifier (CCW_PRSCRBR_ID). For current years, an NPI will typically be associated with a single HCID.

Source: PDE and HCIdea™ Prescriber Database