Healthcare provider data and medical marketing lists

The CoLoCode (Co-Location Code) PlaceLink Method

The CoLoCode is a hyper-conformed version of the practice location data, making it possible to link providers by their place of practice, despite variations in address data. That makes a lot of things possible, including the operations described below.


A Way to Link Practitioners With Their Employers/Companies

The exclusive CarePrecise CoLoCode is used to identify individuals and organizations providing medical services at the same location. CarePrecise computes a CoLoCode for the full database of 6.4 million U.S. healthcare provider records.* It can help in determining practice size, and in finding practitioners who are co-workers. It can also be used to find a Type 1 (individual) provider's Type 2 (organization) records(s) (Type 1 to Type 2 crosswalk), and to find the workers at a given practice group (workplace to worker crosswalk).

  • View all providers working at every workplace (Worker-to-Workplace linkage)
  • Link physicians' Type 1 (individual) records with their Type 2 (business entity) records
  • Find all Type 2 records of any given location of service (organization's multiple NPI records)

The CoLoCode is constructed using a proprietary algorithm that hyper-conforms practice location data for the 6.4 million US healthcare providers. Going well beyond the US Postal Service's "Pub 28" standard, the CoLoCode accounts for addresses that may have been entered very differently. For example, "2525 West 33rd Street, Suite 205" is understood to be the same location as "2525 W 33 #205," as well as many other variations.

The CoLoCode is a great asset when merging lists of individuals with lists of their companies, or de-duplicating databases, and is key element of CarePrecise's Qo-Relate record-linkage processing.


People Working at the Same Locations: The PlaceLink Method

Here's how a query is structured that links all providers having the same CoLoCode, in a manner like this:

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Find practitioners working at the same location.

The "Names tables" are shown in the example, but you can also include address, phone/fax, and other tables.

The "CoLoCode table" is used twice in the query; the first one is the CoLoCode for the provider you want to find co-workers for, and the second one is going to pull all of the NPI numbers for people (and companies) listing that location for their place of practice. A count of the workers having an organization's CoLoCode can be an indicator of the size of the organization.


Worker-to-Workplace Linkage

The same configuration works to locate the workplace (organization) name for a given worker. On the left side we specify Type 1 records (individuals), and on the right side we specify Type 2 records (organizations), to arrive at the "worker-to-workplace" connection, and a row that contains both the individual's record and the organization's record. Once again, the graphic shows only Names tables, but other tables would be included; such as address, phone/fax, and taxonomy/specialty/license.

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Worket to Workplace linkage diagram.


Using the CoLoCode in Excel

If you have an Excel file containing a CoLoCode column, simply sort the file on the CoLoCode column. Where you see a cluster of the same CoLoCodes, these are records with the same practice location. If your Excel file also contains the EntityType field, then the record(s) of Type 2 identify the organization (workplace), and the records of Type 1 identify the individuals (workers). Like this:

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ColoCode to place practitioners at their organizations.



The example above illustrates a characteristic of the CoLoCode. Notice that both a physician group and a hospital have been captured as a single workplace. This can happen when the postal addresses are too similar, and do not have standard secondary identifiers. To determine one from the other, use the hospital Taxonomy Codes (in the Taxo table) to identify the hospitals. The same logic applies if you're looking for clinical pharmacy or lab workers.

There's an upside here; the fact that so many labs, groups and pharmacies are co-located with hospitals makes it possible to roll up some of these allied organizations to their hospital connection, and by extension, the health systems they're part of (using the hospital-to-health system connections in the Authoritative Hospital Database).


CoLoCoding Beyond Healthcare Provider Data

The powerful CoLoCode feature is available only from CarePrecise. It is present in CarePrecise datasets wherever location data is available, (with the exception of the OtherPracticeLocations table at this time). But it can also be used on any dataset that contains street address field(s) (line 1 only, or lines 1 and 2), Zip Code® (5-digit or Zip+4) fields, and a unique ID field (such as the NPI).