WEDI Newsletter | September 2017
The following WEDI monthly newsletter represents a snapshot of the many value-added benefits that WEDI members enjoy on a regular basis. Join WEDI today so you don’t miss exclusive insights into regulatory and legislative updates, healthcare technology advances, WEDI Workgroup roundups, member-specific news and more!
WEDI-Con Sneak Peek | New White Paper Published | Media Spotlight
WEDI On Demand: September’s Featured Video
WEDI to Lend Support During National Health IT Week
Workgroup Roundup | Latest Member News 
This December, WEDI-Con will bring together some of the biggest industry names to lead discussions covering the pressing issues keeping healthcare leaders awake at night. During the three-day event, payers, providers, government regulators and vendors will network and collaborate over sessions focusing on prior authorization, HITRUST Assessments, Block Chain, the New Medicare Cards, electronic clinical quality (eCQM) and more.

Here’s just a snapshot of just some of the thought-provoking sessions you’ll find at this December’s WEDI-Con, coming to the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA.

Lessons learned from WannaCry
The WannaCry Ransomware Attack wreaked worldwide havoc last May. At WEDI’s spring conference, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Executive Director, Office of Information Security (OIS), and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Leo Scanlon joined the audience via telephone to discuss in real-time how the attack occurred and HHS’ response to it. As cybercrimes and the havoc they wreak on our industry continue to dominate headlines, HHS leadership joins us again as Steve Curren, director of the HHS Division of Resilience in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Office of Emergency Management, will discuss the attack in more detail and update the audience on current HHS cybersecurity initiatives.

Interoperability at Work! Data Exchange in Times of Emergency
A hurricane. A terrorist attack. A school bus accident. Emergencies occur at the local, regional, national and international levels. During these stressful times, health data needs
to smoothly and efficiently move at a moment’s notice to ensure quality of care at the point of care. At WEDI-Con, a panel of subject matter experts led by Noah Smith from the Government of the District of Columbia will discuss case studies, initiatives and lessons learned on emergency preparedness and health information exchange.

Ways and Means Subcommittee Listening Session 
Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Brady and Health Subcommittee Chairman Tiberi recently announced the “ Red Tape Relief” initiative to reduce administrative burdens facing the healthcare industry. To assist in advancing this project, the group will need to work closely with a wide range of healthcare stakeholders and health IT professionals. During this timely session, House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Staffer Nicholas Uehlecke will provide important and unique insight to identify burdensome mandates that stand in the way of better patient care. 

Inside the Mind of a Hacker
Rapid7’s Patrick Laverty finds the weak points in computer networks. Every day, he pokes, prods, and does what needs to be done to find the open spots. Whether that's a SQL injection vulnerability in a web page, an outdated server, or even using social engineering against your employees, he tries to find the ways that a hacker can get in. During his
day-two break-out session titled “Common Vulnerabilities Found by a Hacker,” this good
guy hacker will show attendees some of the common areas and things to look for in your systems to keep the attackers out.

New Medicare Card Program Industry Panels (Tuesday, December 5)
Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be mailing out the new Medicare cards with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to
all people with Medicare. In preparation for this major undertaking WEDI-Con welcomes
Dr. Monica Kay of CMS who will present on the initiative, its timeline and what the health IT industry must be prepared for in the coming months. Following CMS’ updates, attendees can participate in three unique industry panel discussions from the perspective of providers and payers and the industry as a whole.

The 21 st Century Cures Act
What’s happening? What’s next? Charged to create a framework that would allow for greater interoperability, ONC’s Steve Posnack will offer attendees updates on this impactful bill expected to enhance health IT interoperability.

As you can see, this is THE event rounding out an exceptional year of WEDI programming. So don’t miss your chance to participate in this important and timely event and be on the pulse of the latest policies impacting health IT. Register today!  
Written by the WEDI Remittance Advice and Payment (ERA/EFT) subworkgroup, the 51-page white paper, entitled Barriers to Adoption of the ERA and EFT Transactions, identifies barriers to the adoption of the HIPAA adopted EFT (CCD+) and ERA (835) electronic transactions by payers, providers and vendors; provides details of the reason behind these barriers; and suggests steps that all stakeholders can take to eliminate the barriers and implement the transactions.

According to the paper: “Many barriers still exist that prevent providers and payers from adopting the Electronic Remittance Advice and Electronic Funds Transfer transactions. Some payers may not be fully HIPAA-compliant and do not offer both ERA and EFT transactions or do not provide all of the CORE Minimum Required Data for Reassociation. Payers may use vendors that introduce challenges in creating ERA and EFT files that match appropriately, including payment amounts and reassociation information included in both files. Issues with the ERA files, including balancing, grouping of the files, information reported from secondary payers and adjustment codes within the files, may make the files impossible for providers to post. Processes around the files like overpayment recovery and researching missing files may cause enough apprehension with the provider to discourage use of the ERA and EFT. Even issues with the EDI enrollment process itself introduce barriers that prevent adoption of the electronic transactions.”

The document concludes by suggesting that working with all partners including payers, providers, vendors, clearinghouses and PMS vendors, is “essential to make progress in reducing or eliminating these barriers and increasing adoption of the electronic transactions, which ultimately benefits everyone involved.”

“Barriers to Adoption of the ERA and EFT Transactions” white paper is available for download on the WEDI website. For more information on WEDI’s industry efforts surrounding electronic funds transfer, please visit the WEDI Remittance Advice & Payment (ERA/EFT) subworkgroup  page.
The following feature article was originally published last month in HIE Answers:

A Look Inside WEDI and its Collaboration with the Health IT Industry
By Charles Stellar, President and CEO, Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI)

Every healthcare encounter is a collaboration: between patient and provider, physician and lab tech, patient and support staff. Each participant in the healthcare spectrum plays a vital role that supports quality outcomes.

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) has been facilitating the needs of the health IT industry since its creation in 1991 by the secretary of Health and Human Services. During our 25-year history, WEDI has worked to remain on the forefront of every major health IT issue facing our industry.

WEDI brings together key organizations from across the healthcare spectrum, leveraging the industry’s collective technology, knowledge, expertise and information resources to improve the movement, quality, security and cost-effectiveness of healthcare information. Our membership represents a diverse cross-section of the healthcare industry, including health plans, providers, standards organizations, IT vendors and government entities.

Making progress, one issue at a time
Working collaboratively through policy advisory groups (PAGs), technical advisory committees (TACs) and open forums, WEDI receives input from stakeholders on significant issues facing the industry, distilling that input into actionable recommendations for change.

Through its membership, WEDI has:

  • Developed the foundation of administrative simplification provisions within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996
  • Produced a Health ID Card guide required for use by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in Medicare Managed Care Part D and used by some commercial health plans
  • Through our ICD-10 workgroup, developed comprehensive educational resources and a coding and testing website that supported the successful transition to the new code set
  • Partnered with government agencies including CMS, OCR, and ONC on numerous industry health IT education and outreach initiatives
  • Testified multiple times before federal advisory bodies on important health IT issues
  • Established dozens of workgroups focused on established topics such as transactions and security and emerging issues including payment models and genomics

A strategy for the industry
WEDI’s strategic plan for 2017 ensures our key initiatives are driven by our strategic priorities—collaboration and outreach, our advisory role, knowledge and excellence, and sustainable growth.

To read the full article published in HIE Answers, click here.
This month's highlighted Vimeo channel video features Mark Martin, Director, Payer Solutions, Provider Data Management for Availity, who discusses the value of WEDI Conferences in our latest video The Information You Need, Year After Year.
Visit the new WEDI Vimeo Channel to view our entire video library!
We’re proud to announce that WEDI will be a partner of National Health IT (NHIT) Week taking place this October 2-6, 2017! Please join us in support of this nationwide awareness week focused on the value of health IT for the U.S. healthcare system. There is no better time for the health IT community to come together under one umbrella to raise national awareness of this important topic!

For more information, visit HealthITWeek .
All of our workgroups have special projects and activities underway, here’s just a brief highlight of a few:

  • The Remittance Advice and Payments Subworkgroup has published a white paper on Barriers to Adoption of the ERA and EFT Transactions. They are planning a webinar on Adjustment Code mapping and are ready to begin work on an Issues Brief on EFT Enrollment security. 
  • The Innovative Encounters Workgroup is close to finishing its latest issue brief that provides an overview of telehealth modalities. The group is already discussing possible topics for its next paper, including telehealth reimbursement, telehealth resources, and states with telehealth best practices. Look for the announcement of a webinar showcasing Cherokee Health System’s use of telehealth in delivering health care services. The webinar showcasing Cherokee Health System’s use of telehealth in delivering health care services will be on October 31st. Click here for more information.
  • The Eligibility and Benefits Subworkgroup has completed their scope and purpose. At their next meeting on October 18th, the group will compile a list of topics that the subworkgroup would like to discuss on future calls. 
  • The Dental Subworkgroup has received its approval of the WEDI White Paper for 005010 Electronic Transaction Mapping 837D to the 2012 ADA Claim Form from the Data Exchange Workgroup co-chairs. The next step will be the submission to the WEDI Workgroup Leadership team for review and approval. The Dental Subworkgroup is also busy preparing for a jointly sponsored EFT/ERA webinar for the dental industry.
Health Plans/Insurers


Technology Solutions/Vendors

If you are a WEDI Corporate Member organization and would like to have your press releases included in a future edition of the WEDI Monthly Newsletter, please email with a link to your press release to
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency and to reduce costs of the American healthcare system. Formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), WEDI was named in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS and continues to fulfill that role today.
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