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Data Dissemination- Announcing Changes to the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) Downloadable File

Guidance for the NPPES Downloadable file including deactivated NPIs within the full replacement monthly NPI file.


Issued by: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Issue Date: February 11, 2020

Announcing Changes to the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) Downloadable File

(Also referred to as the NPI Downloadable File and/or the full replacement Monthly NPI File)

CMS is pleased to announce that the NPPES Downloadable file will now include deactivated NPIs within the full replacement monthly NPI file.  Many organizations have expressed the need for information related to deactivated NPIs and the deactivation dates.  After careful consideration, CMS has agreed to disseminate the deactivated NPIs and the deactivation dates as part of the full replacement monthly NPI file. 

In addition, CMS will also make available a full replacement monthly NPI deactivation file with deactivated NPIs and the deactivation dates in an excel format.  This NPI deactivation file will assist users who are only interested in the deactivation information. A link to the files can be found at the bottom of this page by selecting ‘NPI Downloadable Files’ under the ‘Related Links’ section.

More good news to share

CMS will also make available weekly incremental NPI files for downloading.  These weekly files will be in the same format as the current full replacement monthly NPI file; however, the weekly files will only include data for a given week.  The weekly files will assist users by providing them with more up-to-date information and includes newly assigned NPIs, updates to NPI data, and newly deactivated NPIs covering that week. 

Please note:  The weekly incremental NPI file is a supplemental file to be used in conjunction with the full replacement monthly NPI file until the next full replacement monthly NPI file is made available.  Each month, users will need to download the full replacement monthly NPI File in order to ensure that their system has the most up-to-date NPI data. 

Data Dissemination

In September 2007, CMS began disclosing NPPES health care provider data that are disclosable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the public.  In accordance with the e-FOIA Amendments, CMS has disclosed these data via the Internet in two forms:

  1. NPI Registry - Opens in a new window :  The NPI Registry is a query-only database which is updated daily to enable users to query the NPPES (e.g., search by NPI, provider name, etc.) and retrieve the FOIA-disclosable data from the search results. There is no charge to view the data.
  2. NPI Downloadable File - Opens in a new window : Full Replacement Monthly NPI File, Weekly Incremental NPI File, and Full Replacement NPI Deactivation File.  There is no charge to download the data.

Starting June 18, 2018, the zipped NPPES Downloadable file will include the following 3 new reference files:

  1. Other Name Reference File - this file contains additional Other Names associated with Type 2 NPIs.
  2. Practice Location Reference File - this file contains all of the non-primary Practice Locations associated with Type 1 and Type 2 NPIs.
  3. Endpoint Reference File - this file contains all Endpoints associated with Type 1 and Type 2 NPIs.

Detailed information about the new files will be included in the Data Dissemination File - Readme file.

Important Facts about the Full Replacement Monthly NPI File

  1. The downloadable file is a Zip file that is a compressed archive file that contains (a) a "Read Me" document, (b) a Code Value document, (c) a Header File document, and (d) the FOIA-disclosable NPPES health care provider data file.
  2. The data file (item (d) above) is a comma-separated value file containing both the data and the header.  Each data value is enclosed by a pair of double-quotes.  If a data element does not have a value present, this will be indicated in the file by two double-quotes in a row. 
  3. The data dissemination file exceeds 4 GB. Older file compression utilities may not be able to extract this file properly. Please check your file compression utility for any known problems and the latest version in order to avoid any problems extracting this file. Utilities, such as WinZip and 7-zip, have been successful in extracting the file.
  4. It is intended that the file be downloaded and the data be imported into a relational database, or otherwise manipulated, by individuals with the requisite technical expertise.   
  5. Shareware text editors are recommended for users who wish to view the data file and/or perform simple searches.  The .csv data file must be opened with a text editor capable of opening large files. Two examples are TextPad and UltraEdit.  In addition, the csv Header File is small enough to be opened by a simple text editor like Notepad; however, it is too large to be opened in Excel.
  6. There is no Help Desk or other technical support available from CMS, the NPI Enumerator, or any other CMS contractor for downloading, manipulating, or using the file.

Other Important Notes:

The FOIA-disclosable data for a health care provider (individual or organization) who deactivated an NPI will now be disclosed within the files.  For a deactivated NPI, CMS will only disclose the deactivated NPI and the associated date of deactivation within the files.  For those users who download the file and share the downloaded data on their own website(s), CMS suggests that only the same data be displayed for those deactivated NPIs (i.e., deactivated NPI and date of deactivation ONLY).  Please keep in mind the following information:

  1. Deactivated records in NPPES cannot be viewed or edited by the health care providers who had been assigned those NPIs (these health care providers would have no way to update, change, or delete [where permitted] their FOIA-disclosable NPPES data). It is not necessary to disclose any information related to whom the deactivated NPI was previously assigned to. 
  2. Covered entities should not use deactivated NPIs in standard transactions.
  3. Health care providers who have deactivated their NPIs should not use, or allow others to use, their deactivated NPIs in standard transactions.
  4. The FOIA-disclosable data for health care providers who reactivate their NPIs will continue to be displayed in the NPI Registry and will continue to be included in the downloadable file. 

Special Note for Health Care Providers:

The NPI Registry and the downloadable files will contain data from the NPPES as reported to NPPES by you, or by someone acting on your behalf, or by an organization provider's Authorized Official. If the downloadable file or the NPI Registry reflects information that is incorrect, health care providers should correct that information.  At any time, providers, or someone acting on their behalf, may edit their records by going to, or by obtaining a paper NPI Application/Update Form (CMS-10114) from the CMS forms page (/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms) and mailing the completed, signed form to the NPI Enumerator.  Providers who need assistance in editing their records should contact the NPI Enumerator by phone at 1-800-465-3203, by email, or by letter:  NPI Enumerator, 7125 Ambassador Rd, Suite 100, Windsor Mill, MD 21244-2751.

The information disclosed on the NPI Registry and in the downloadable files are FOIA-disclosable and are required to be disclosed under the FOIA and the eFOIA amendments to the FOIA. There is no way to ‘opt out’ or ‘suppress’ the NPPES record data for health care providers with active NPIs.  Additional information regarding the data can be found in the Downloads section below.

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DISCLAIMER: The contents of this database lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law (including Medicare Advantage Rate Announcements and Advance Notices) or as specifically incorporated into a contract. The Department may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on the guidance repository, except to establish historical facts.