As some of you know, CMS is transitioning their DDE connectivity to support a new security standard. I discussed this topic in a previous article, “Direct Data Entry (DDE) Security Upgrade Requirement” on 9/16. In this article, I mentioned that this upgrade might cause certain provider systems to fail when they attempt to connect to DDE after the transition. CMS has two separate systems that provide this service, one is managed by HP (Hewlett-Packard) and one is managed by CDS (Companion Data Services).
Some of you have your connectivity set up to always access one of these systems exclusively. Others are set up to select which one of these systems to access each time you log on. On Sunday evening, HP switched all connectivity to the new FIPS 140-2 standard. As we expected, we began receiving calls on Monday from facilities no longer able to access DDE. If your access failed at this time and you can switch from HP to CDS, you might want to try this temporary fix. If it works, then the problem is that your connection is not compliant with the new standard and you have bought yourself another week.
Next Sunday, 10/6, CDS will be making the change as well. If your systems fail on the morning of 10/7, this is the cause. Some people may believe that this is related to the government shutdown, but CMS has announced that all Medicare contractor services will operate normally through the shutdown, assuming it is still happening by then.
If you lose your DDE access, you can get a single session set up within one business day through our PayerLink product and you can use DDE, HETS and claims file transfer for up to 30 days for no charge or obligation. This should allow you the time to determine how to best handle this issue for your facility. If you need multiple sessions, give us a call, we can get you going in a hurry. MEDTranDirect uses web-based terminal emulators that are fully compliant with the FIPS 140-2 standard and do not require installation.
-By Kalon Mitchell, President, MEDTranDirect