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Back  RFI # 50: Interpretation for Use of Code Set from a Later Version

Formal vs. Informal Help Informal Formal


Todd Cochrane


Are there any restrictions in the current ASC X12 standard that prevents a user from using an ASC X12 approved code set from one version (e.g., 5030) in a transaction from a previous version (e.g., 4010)?


The data elements in a functional group may only use the code values, or values from referenced code list, from the X12 version and release specified in the Functional Group Header. Therefore, yes, there are restrictions that prevent a user from using a version/release 005030 code set in a 004010 transaction set. X12.6 specifies the properties of functional groups, transaction sets, data elements, and other aspects of the X12 application control structure. In specifying the properties of the Data Element Dictionary in section 3.5.2, code sets are described as: For ID data elements, the dictionary lists all code values and their descriptions or a reference where the valid code list can be obtained. The purpose and scope of X12.6 state (emphasis added): This standard does not define any specific transaction set. Data segments are defined in a segment directory; data elements are defined in a data element dictionary; composite data structures are defined in a composite data structure directory; control segments and the binary segment are defined in this standard and fully described in a segment directory. X12.6 recognizes only a single data element dictionary. Data Element 480, Version / Release / Industry Identifier Code, used as GS08 in the GS Segment, Functional Group Header, states in its description: Code indicating the version, release, subrelease, and industry identifier of the EDI standard being used, including the GS and GE segments; Therefore in regard to X12 EDI standards (identified by a value of X in GS07, Data Element 455, Responsible Agency Code), GS08 specifies the version and release of the entire functional group, including GS and GE segments, the transaction sets, the segments, and data elements.


The official response to a formal RFI is a letter from the current ASC X12 chair. This website often displays a summary of the RFI. Click here to view a PDF of the letter for this RFI.

The X12 EDI standard is published as a complete, stand-alone body of work with each version and release. Some of the component standards lack logical dependencies on each other and may be used with other versions and releases (for example, a mailbag of one version containing interchanges of other versions, or an interchange of one version containing functional groups of other versions). In these cases there are always ways to specify the differing versions and releases. In the absence of such mechanisms there is an implicit assumption that where logical dependencies exist, such as data elements within a transaction set, the standards are of the same version and release. Any other interpretation or assumption would make it impossible to determine the compliance of a transaction set instance with one or more versions and releases of the standard, based strictly on what is specified in the standard.
Submission 1/1/2010
Status Date 1/1/2010
Status F - Final
Primary References
Document 4010