Health Care Administrative Simplification Act (ASA)
Health care is a more than $35 billion per year enterprise in Minnesota, generating millions of administrative transactions between health care providers, payers, intermediaries, and vendors. The Health Care Administrative Simplification Act (ASA) of 1994 (Minnesota Statutes, sections 62J.50 – 62J.61 (pdf)) was enacted to bring about greater standardization and electronic exchange of health care administrative transactions, to reduce administrative costs and burden. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Division of Health Policy, in collaboration with advisory and standards-setting organizations, continues to implement the ASA, its corresponding rules, and other related projects.
The ASA has been amended several times since it’s passage in 1994. In 2007, Minnesota Statutes, section 62J.536 was enacted. This law requires all health care providers and payers to exchange three types of common health care administrative transactions electronically, using a standard data content and format, beginning in 2009. The statute further requires the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Minnesota Administrative Uniformity Committee (AUC), to develop rules, known as “Minnesota Uniform Companion Guides”, for the standard exchange of the electronic health care administrative transactions.
The ASA was amended during the 2008 session of the Minnesota Legislature with technical and clarifying changes as well as changes specific to Minnesota Statutes, section 62J.536 and its requirements for the standard, electronic exchange of health care administrative transactions, including: a) a limited exception to some rules for payers not covered by HIPAA; and b) compliance/enforcement provisions.
In 2009, the Minnesota Uniform Companion Guide rules adopted pursuant to MS § 62J.536 became effective. The Minnesota Department of Health (AUC) issued several “implementation and compliance” updates regarding implementation and administration of the rules. MDH also consulted with the AUC in the development of updated versions of the rules to comply with new federal regulations effective January 1, 2012.
The ASA was further amended in 2010 to extend applicability of MS § 62J.536 to health care clearinghouses. Additionally, new versions of the rules were published to align with federal requirements that take effect no later than January 1, 2012.