HIPAA Communication Center

The HIPAA Communication Center, or short HIPAA Comm Center, is a separate application that is included in the HIPAAsuite software. The HIPAA Communication Center handles all incoming EDI traffic, decrypts encrypted EDI files, creates Acknowledgements, does a compliance check on the EDI files, keeps a log and determines further automatic processing. It downloads EDI files from Trading Partners or VANs through FTP, checks email drop-off accounts and processes the email attachments, and it includes an FTP client.

Download the detailed help documentation for the HIPAA Comm Center.
- Acrobat PDF

The features of the HIPAA Communication Center

  • Set-up trading partners, communication methods, encryption and so on.
  • Automatically checking for new files in pre-determined intervals.
  • Incoming EDI files are read, examined, and logged.
  • TA1 and 997 acknowledgments that are automatically created and returned to the sender if needed.
  • Staff notification through email announcing the arrival of new files.
  • Email notification to the sender with HIPAA compliance check results.
  • File management, where files are moved to appropriate folders for further processing with the other parts of the HIPAA Suite.
  • Options to process EDI files automatically without human intervention.
  • En- and Decryption of EDI files that go over the public internet. Supports PGP and other common encryption methods.

How are files received?

With the HIPAA Communication Center, EDI files can be received  the following ways:

  • Setting up an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server locally and allowing trading partners to upload their files in an inbox, and download files from an outbox folder.
  • Using email attachments. Email has many advantages, as it is ubiquitous and simple. Encryption and data security solutions are widely available. Routing parameters are not important, the email is sent straight to its destination.
  • Use of the e-HIPAA Web Portal for receiving and delivering EDI files. This approach gives great independence and it is very cost effective.
  • Signing up with a VAN (Value-Added Network), and setting up a mail box for incoming and outgoing EDI files on the VAN's server.
  • Signing up with a clearing house and receiving and sending all EDI files through them.

How are the EDI exchanges completed?

The HIPAA Communication Center is designed to facilitate and administer EDI exchanges through the following basic workflow:

  1. Email accounts are scanned for new messages, and attachments are extracted and placed in the inbox
  2. VAN accounts are checked for new files and those files are placed in the inbox
  3. Through FTP, one or multiple EDI file(s) are deposited by trading partners in the Inbox.
  4. Trading partner's ftp servers are polled for new files
  5. Encrypted files are decrypted. PGP software can be integrated.
  6. Through the Windows scheduler HIPAA Communication Center scans the inbox in predetermined time intervals.
  7. If files are detected, those files are then analyzed for their HIPAA compliance and a report is generated.
  8. Several methods of encryption are supported.
  9. The sending trading partner is detected and the rules for that partner are loaded.
  10. A 997 EDI acknowledgment file is then produced and sent back to the Trading Partner. Warning of EDI errors are also generated and sent back.
  11. A log file entry, with the time and date of receipt and any warning message, is created.
  12. Office personnel receive an email message with the basic information about the new file.
  13. The file is moved to a specific directory for further processing.
  14. The Inbox is "cleaned" automatically.
  15. "Bad" files can be rejected according to established rules. Those files are placed in a suspense folder.
  16. The further processing of transactions can be set up detailed by trading partner and transaction set.
     The FTP Inbox is checked and files are processed. How are communication rules established?
    Fig1 The FTP Inbox is checked and files are processed. How are communication rules established?

    When Trading Partner relationships are set up, the rules for communications with them are established with the following interface:
    The Trading Partner screen
    Fig2 The Trading Partner screen. (Click to enlarge).

    1. Basic Setup includes establishing the FTP inbox, outbox and location for control files.
     Basic setup
    Fig. 3 Basic setup

    2. A log is maintained for all the processed files and analysis results. This information is stored in the Transaction Log.

    Fig. 4 The Running Log file. (Click to enlarge). Fig.5 The individual File Log.

    3. A built-in FTP client allows the process files to be received from VANs or Trading Partner's to be stored on the FTP servers.
    The built-in FTP Client
    Fig. 5 The built-in FTP Client. (Click to enlarge).
     4. The further processing of EDI Files can be set-up in general or by trading partner and transaction.
    General Auto Processing Options
    Fig 6. General Auto Processing Options.
    Trading Partner and Transaction Specific Processing Options

    Fig 7. Trading Partner and Transaction Specific Processing Options.