CAQH CORE Connectivity Safe Harbor

CAQH CORE Connectivity Safe Harbor Guidelines

CAQH CORE Connectivity Safe Harbor requirements that a health plan must use if requested by a provider are described in CAQH CORE 270 Rule, Section 5, CORE Safe Harbor. The CAQH CORE Connectivity Safe Harbor specifies connectivity methods that application vendors, providers, and health plans can be assured will be supported by any HIPAA covered entity and/or a CORE-certified entity, meaning that the entity is capable and ready at the time of the request by a trading partner to exchange data using the CAQH CORE Connectivity Rule. The rule does not require entities to remove existing connections that do not match the rule, nor does it require that all covered entities use this method for all new connections. In some circumstances, you and your trading partners may decide to continue to use your current connection; however, you must implement the capability to use the CAQH CORE Connectivity Safe Harbor and be capable and ready to use it when requested.

After extensive analysis of the open standards currently in use for enveloping messages or payloads, e.g., X12 transactions or other types of data, the CAQH CORE Connectivity & Security Subgroup selected HTTP MIME Multipart and SOAP + WSDL as the two standards that both met the majority of CAQH CORE’s agreed-upon criteria and were in wide use in the marketplace. Further lengthy discussions of the pros and cons of each envelop methodology confirmed considerable argument for each standard meeting the industry’s needs with no clear winner emerging.

The Subgroup debated the advantages and challenges associated with forwarding a single envelope standard rule versus one which included both of these standards and whether a single standard facilitated better interoperability. The Subgroup came to a consensus on the two envelope standards as it is believed to allow broader acceptance for the future installed base. The Subgroup also agreed that a single message envelope standard will be a goal for future phases to reach. Conformance guidance is provided as part of the CAQH CORE Connectivity Rule for all stakeholders to implement one or both of these envelope standards.

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