Transmitting Electronic Claims
The THERAPIST creates claims as a file. How that file gets to its destination is the subject of this article. Throughout the article, the generic term "Receiver" will be used to refer to the clearing house or payer to whom you want to send your claims.
There are several ways to send your claim files to the receiver. Most of them involve the telephone line or other Internet connection. If you do not have some kind of electronic connection capability, it will be difficult if not impossible to send your electronic claims.
The receiver dictates the manner in which your claim will be transmitted. You have little or no say in the matter. This means that they determine the choice of communication application (software) will be used for that purpose.
Some receivers use a secure Internet connection to receive claims. You run your browser, the program you are using right now to read this article. When you navigate to the appropriate web site, there is usually a button or link that you click to select the claim file to upload.
Connecting via the Internet means that your claim file passes through multiple computers on the way to its destination. Because of this, a secure Internet connection is used. This is usually indicated by a small lock icon in your status bar when you connect to the receiver's web page. When using a secure connection, your data is automatically encrypted on your computer and decrypted on the receiver's computer. While it is already difficult to intercept a particular Internet transmission, a secure connection makes your claims extremely difficult to read by someone who does intercept your file.
Direct Dialup Browser
This is a variation of the Internet connection described above. The difference is that, rather than connecting to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), you dial a phone number that goes directly to the receiver's computer. This connection method eliminates the possibility that a hacker on the Internet could intercept your file. These connections often also use a secure connection as described above for even more protection.
FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. This is a "language" used on the Internet for sending files. Some newer browsers support FTP but usually it requires using a special FTP program. Many are available free from hundreds of web sites. You can find one easily with a simple search.
FTP also has a secure version (Secure FTP or SFTP) that encrypts your files. Not many receivers, to our knowledge, are using FTP or SFTP for claim submission.
Many receivers use Hyper Terminal, a communications program that comes with Windows. There is nothing special about Hyper Terminal other than it being free. Any good communications program will work as well if not better. When Hyper Terminal or another communications program is used, you dial directly into the receiver's computer and there is usually some kind of menu you use to upload your claim file. Neither Hyper Terminal nor most other communications programs support any kind of file encryption.
Other companies supply their own software which must be used to transmit your claim files. Usually, there is some kind of automation making your task easier. However, in some cases, this proprietary software is more difficult to use than the programs described above.
Beaver Creek Communications Software
This is easy to describe because there isn't any. There are too many communication methods, protocols, and interfaces being used to make it reasonable for us to supply software for the purpose. Beside, since most of the existing solutions are free, it makes it impossible to recoup development costs let alone make a profit.
Technical support for The THERAPIST can assist you with issues related
to creating your claim files. For issues relating to the communication
software you will need to contact technical support for either the receiver
house or the communication software vendor. Beaver Creek can not offer
assistance with software we do not license.
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