What Is Direct Data Entry?


Direct data entry (DDE) is an online health care claim and billing application system that was chosen for use as a standard for electronic transactions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.


Direct data entry is when data is electronically transmitted from a doctor's computer system into a health insurer's computer system. This is commonly used with claims, Medicare programs and for billing invoices. HIPAA required the secretary of health and human services to adopt standards for electronic transactions. These standards became effective in 2000, and companies had to comply by 2002. Before the standards became effective, doctors could submit forms in many different electronic formats, but this often caused mistakes in filing the claims. The creation of the system simplified the process, allowing one standard electronic form to be shared by the physician, pharmacy and health insurer.


A health care provider keys in information into an online form or spreadsheet. The information can also be automated by work processing systems. The information is then transmitted to a health insurer's system or a retail pharmacy for prescriptions and then processed in batch.


Various content management system vendors provide DDE services. Among the biggest are IVANS Inc., McKesson CareBridge and VisionShare Inc. All vendor systems must adhere to the Fiscal Intermediary Standard System of Direct Data Entry, which means they must use the same codes to process claims in a secure way.

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