EDI communication protocols

EDI Communication Protocols and File Formats Accepted

Emdeon allows connections using multiple EDI communication protocols. Each of the agreed EDI communication protocols is described below.

Sterling Gentran®

IBM® Sterling Gentran® is a third party product providing an EDI and data translation solution that supports multiple protocols. Emdeon supports connectivity with this product through one of the methods listed below. Once the protocol is installed, work with Emdeon’s technical staff for the credentials to connect.

  • Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP): A secure FTP protocol provided by a third party service of your choosing.
  • Sterling® Connect:Direct: Formerly Network Data Mover (NDM), Connect:Direct is a point-to-point file transfer software designed to handle high volume processing efficiently.


CommServer is an old style dial-up / modem bulletin board system, which allows asynchronous file transfers. Clients receive credentials to upload claim files and download reports securely.

If you have a dedicated internet connection at your site, Emdeon strongly encourages submitters to choose one of the FTP communication methods below rather than CommServer dial-up

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is a standard network protocol designed to copy individual files from one host to another. Emdeon supports three FTP methods, described below. Each require a dedicated internet connection at the submitter’s site.

  • FTP Internet-PGP: Direct connect or aggregating submitters should use this communication method. This method secures file exchange through an Emdeon FTP account and Emdeon-supplied encryption keys.
  • Internet Transaction Services (ITS): ITS allows clients to FTP claims via a secure Emdeon portal communication method. Credentials are defined by Emdeon and delivered by your Implementation Analyst.
  • Private Network (VPN): This method will allow clients to FTP their files through a secure point-to-point VPN “tunnel” connection over the internet. There is additional cost associated with this method.

Regardless of the EDI communication protocols selected, file submissions must follow specifc guidelines. Your implementation analyst or account representative should provide the technical specifics to electronically submit your files to Emdeon using the selected communication protocol. In addition, all transmissions should follow the guidelines below.

Acceptable File Formats

Emdeon accepts X12 transactions in a continuous stream using delimiters to denote the end of the data. However, some communications protocols require the data to be in wrapped 80-byte format. Emdeon accepts both formats. Trading Partners who wish to use a continuous stream must inform the Implementation Analyst prior to testing with Emdeon.

Allowable Character Set

Emdeon supports the Basic Character Set and Extended Character Set as defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) with the exceptions below.

Please refer to page three in Appendix B of the ASC X12N TR3 for more information on the ANSI Character Sets

The characters below are used as delimiters in the claim translations:

* (Asterisk)

^ (Carat)

: (Colon)

~ (Tilde)

In addition, under all circumstances the following characters are removed from the content prior to transmitting to the receiver.

& (Ampersand)

< (Less than)

> (Greater than)

‘ (Single quote).

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