Falls Church, Va., March 14, 2005 – In the spirit of cooperation and harmonization, the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with Health Level Seven (HL7) and The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) to collaborate on business content and data standards development for health care.

“We at X12 are pleased to enhance the important relationships we have with HL7 and NCPDP,” said ASC X12 Chair Ralph Berwanger. “These strategic collaborations will help us reduce redundancies in our XML development initiatives, achieve global harmonization of standards and lower healthcare systems interoperability costs.”

Together, ASC X12 will work in concert with HL7 to harmonize such standards as the X12 275 patient information transaction set. At present, the HL7 XML framework is encapsulated in the X12 EDI 275. ASC X12 currently crafts XML messages using its Context Inspired Component Architecture (CICA), whereas HL7 uses its Clinical Document Architecture. Both organizations will endeavor to reconcile redundant messages via this new MOU.

“As a former co-chair of ASC X12N/TG3 (Insurance Subcommittee/Transaction Coordination and Modeling), I’m happy to see a further strengthening of the longstanding relationship between our two organizations,” said Chuck Meyer, Chair-elect of HL7. “This memorandum of understanding can only lead to further collaboration on transactions enhancing the exchange of administrative information under HIPAA. Our joint efforts resulting in the electronic claims attachment proposal only foretell the advantages of this relationship to the industry.”

Key areas of mutual interest for ASC X12 and NCPDP include joint development of remittance advice needs, and member and provider enrollment in a health plan for the pharmacy services sector. The MOUs between ASC X12 and HL7, and NCPDP are key to enabling open communication in an industry where multiple standards development organizations share member companies, trading partners and business requirements.

“The leadership of NCPDP has made a firm commitment to help facilitate collaboration and generate synergy for all elements of healthcare involved with the pharmacy services sector,” said NCPDP President Lee Ann Stember. “It is vital that HL7, X12 and NCPDP, work together to maximize the efforts of all involved. We are very excited about working closer with our fellow standards development organizations with a common goal of advancing heightened efficiencies for the pharmacy industry.”

About the Accredited Standards Committee X12
The Accredited Standards Committee X12, accredited by the American National Standards Institute and comprised of cross-industry representation, develops robust e-business exchange standards in X12 EDI and XML formats that interact with a multitude of e-business technologies and serve as a premier tool for integrating electronic applications. With more than 2,500 individuals representing approximately 350 corporate members, ASC X12 facilitates the effective exchange of electronic information through standards-setting and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives. Propelling global e-business, ASC X12 is an active contributor to the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of good and services. To learn more about ASC X12, visit http://www.X12.org or call 703-970-4480.

About Health Level Seven
Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven, Inc. (http://www.HL7.org/) is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7’s more than 2,000 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, including 90 percent of the largest information systems vendors serving healthcare.

HL7 International affiliates have been established in 27 countries throughout the globe including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

About the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Founded in 1977, NCPDP is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, Standards Development Organization with approximately 1400 members representing virtually every sector of the pharmacy services industry. Our diverse membership provides leadership and healthcare business solutions through education and standards, created using the consensus building process. NCPDP has been named in federal legislation, including HIPAA and the MMA. NCPDP members have created standards such as the Telecommunication Standard and Batch Standard, the SCRIPT Standard for e-Prescribing, the Manufacturers Rebate Standard and more to improve communication within the pharmacy industry. Our data services include the NCPDP Provider Identification Number, a unique identifier of over 68,000 pharmacies and HCIdea, “The Prescriber Identity Solution.” For more information about NCPDP Standards, Educational Programs and Work Group meetings, go online at http://www.ncpdp.org

For additional information, contact: Julia O’Brien, jobrien@disa.org, 606-356-2999