I am pleased to provide you with this important update regarding the proposed elimination of the Common Working File (CWF) and transition to the HIPAA Eligibility Transaction System (HETS).
On June 10, representatives of BESLER Consulting, the New Jersey Hospital Association and the Connecticut Hospital Association met with senior officials of The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS officials are responsible for managing the CWF and HETS. CMS invited us to discuss the challenges that hospitals will face if and when the agency implements its previously-announced plans to: (i) eliminate the CWF query capability, and (ii) replace that database with HETS as the primary source to confirm Medicare beneficiary eligibility for billing and related purposes. For additional background on this issue, please see our issue brief.
Our meeting was both positive and productive, and CMS was sensitive to the obstacles that our hospital members and clients will face should the agency follow through on its plans regarding the CWF and the HETS transition. CMS appreciated the opportunity to hear about the hospitals’ challenges and seemed open to work with our group and others to develop a mutually beneficial solution.
At CMS’ request, we are preparing a position paper that will both articulate the hospitals’ issues and set forth our proposed solutions. We will submit our paper to CMS within the next few weeks, and we are hopeful that this document will serve as a helpful platform for further discussions with CMS.
Following our meeting with CMS, we updated members of the New Jersey Delegation on our progress, and we thanked them for their continuing support.
We encourage you to prompt your hospital association to support our efforts to achieve an equitable resolution of this important issue. We will keep you apprised of developments in this respect. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or would like additional information.
President & CEO