EDI Transmissions and Software Frequently Asked Questions

How do I transmit Flat File data?

We have a mailbox on the Advantis network, formerly the IBM Information Net (IIN).  We use this system because it is reliable, available 24 hours a day (including a help desk) and has better security than a bulletin board.  The mailbox is actually a large number of disk drives that can accept data regardless of whether or not we have an operator (the person who downloads the files from the mailbox) on duty.  This mailbox is very useful because we do not have an operator during 2nd and 3rd shifts, even though many trading partners transmit to us during 3rd shift because of the cheaper rates.  Once you have written data to our mailbox we can download it at any time, and your data stays in our mailbox until we download it.  Only after a download is it deleted.  You can transmit from any IBM, UNIX or PC platform that has a modem.  The mailbox handles ASCII / EBCDIC (PC to mainframe) conversions automatically, so it does not matter which platform sends or receives the data. We use the State Connect product to receive and transmit data.  Advantis has similar software for IBM mainframes or UNIX platforms.  One mailbox can contain multiple 148 and A49 transmissions, provided they are in separate data files.  We download everything in our mailbox and then read each incoming data file and decide whether or not it is 148 or A49 data from the header.  Mixing 148 and A49 data in one file will cause fatal errors for all data that does not match the header.  We also receive files from some trading partners via the Claimport product.

Does Wisconsin accept the ANSI versions of the transmissions?

Yes, we accept ANSI transmissions.  We have ANSI translator software and therefore accept ANSI versions of both the 148 and A49 transmissions.  These can come to us through either the Advantis or AT&T networks.  This is how it works.  Your ANSI translator software reads the flat file and produces a compressed file for transmission.  Our ANSI translator software in turn reads the compressed ANSI file and produces an identical flat file.  Be aware that you cannot mix flat and ANSI transmissions in the same mailbox, and you must use the IAIABC header and trailer.  In order to transmit, you need ANSI translator software that has the correct map (format) for 148 and A49 translations.  Several vendors sell translators, maps and services that translate the flat file and then send it.  The advantage of ANSI is that the data is compressed prior to transmission, so that the transmission rates are lower.  Depending on the volume of transmissions, however, this may not be significant advantage.

Does Wisconsin send EDI acknowledgments?

Yes, we send electronic acknowledgments back for all transmissions, both 148 and A49. These acknowledgements are in either the Flat File or ANSI format, depending on how you have transmitted to us.  We employ the IAIABC acknowledgment format.

How often do I need to transmit data?

Sending daily, weekly, or several times per week is fine.  Bear in mind that if you have a claim to report you must transmit at least once per week in order to meet our 14 day reporting requirement.  We download data Monday through Friday in the early morning and immediately load this it onto the database.  We then send back acknowledgments the same day.

How does security work?

Each trading partner has a mailbox with an account and user ID, protected by 2 passwords that are known only to the trading partner.  We are the only ones who can read the data in our mailbox.  No other trading partners can read any of your data in our mailbox and you cannot read theirs.  When we write acknowledgments to your mailbox, the same restrictions apply:  we cannot read anything in your mailbox that we did not send.   When we are ready to receive data, we authorize transmissions from you into our mailbox by recording your account and user ID on our mailing list.  You in turn record our account and user ID on your mailing list.  Unless both of these entries match you will not be able to write data to our mailbox.  This means that either partner can revoke permission by removing the specific account information from their mailing list.  The mailing list is accessed through terminal emulation software, such as Procomm.  It is set up once when the transmissions start and does not require any maintenance.

Who pays for the transmission?

You pay for all transmissions to us and we pay for all transmissions to you (i.e. the acknowledgments that we send).  Notice that this mirrors the paper system, in that you are responsible for postage to us and we are responsible for postage to you.  Payment for the transmission is determined by switches that are set in the mailing lists.  Both parties must agree on the switches before data can be sent or received.

How do I get access to Advantis?

Access to Advantis can be purchased through various vendors.  You may also contact IBM directly.  We have access through AAMVANET, which deals only with state agencies and non-profit organizations.  IVANS sells access, and most of the vendors that sell ANSI translators will also sell access to Advantis.

What software do I need in order to transmit data?

For transmitting flat files you need one of the Expedite packages (PC/Expedite, UNIX/Expedite, MVS/Expedite, etc.) and Procomm (or a similar terminal emulation software) on a PC.  For ANSI you need a translator based on a PC, UNIX, or mainframe that also includes transmission software.

For more information about EDI Worker’s Compensation you can e-mail the EDI Coordinator or call (608) 267-6890.

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