NCPDP Universal Patient Identifier (UPI) The Solution to Manage Patient Identities


"The tragedy that we’re talking about here (is) deaths taking place that should not be taking place," – Subcommittee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT2

A New Solution to Match and Manage Patient Identities

With a shared vision of leveraging data for the common good, NCPDP and Experian Health have partnered to deliver an NCPDP Universal Patient Identifier (NCPDP UPI) to all healthcare constituents – at NO CHARGE. The NCPDP Universal Patient Identifier (UPI), powered by Experian Health’s Universal Identity Manager (UIM), is a vendor- and provider-neutral solution for accurately managing patient identification across the healthcare ecosystem.

The solution leverages Experian’s expansive consumer demographic information and referential matching methodologies to identify record matches and duplicates in a patient roster file, and then assign a unique NCPDP UPI to each patient in the file. The NCPDP UPI can be used to exchange information across disparate healthcare entities.

The joint offering addresses patient safety, financial and operational challenges across the U.S. healthcare ecosystem.  It is available to any healthcare organization that owns and exchanges patient data. The intention of the no-charge offering is to accelerate the benefits of the solution and adoption of the NCPDP UPI.

How the No Charge Offer Works


Immediate Benefit

A quick gain for the healthcare organization is the identification of duplicate, overlapping and incomplete patient profiles, enabling the organization to improve the quality and integrity of its patient records. A recent study by RAND Corporation revealed that 8 to 16% of patient records generated by U.S. providers can be defined duplicate.

Long-term, Lasting Benefit

The NCPDP UPI establishes the foundation for exchanging patient information across the healthcare ecosystem to:


Today, more than 1/3 of the U.S. population has an NCPDP UPI!

Contact one of our NCPDP UPI specialists to learn more.

NCPDP’s Patient Identification Task Group has been working to identify a field for transmission of the NCPDP UPI for those trading partners who choose to use it. Click here to read Q&A on DERF 001610 UPI DD and Telecommunication Standard Changes.


1. Makary, MA, Daniel M. Medical Error: The Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States. BMJ, May 4, 2016.

2. McCann, E. (2014, July 18). Healthcare IT News. Deaths by medical mistakes hit records. Retrieved June 22, 2018 on the World Wide Web:

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