Electronic Invoicing Guide

Introduction

The Carolinas Healthcare System invites your company, a valued and important supplier partner, to reduce its operating costs and eliminate paper-based processing by enrolling in Carolinas Healthcare System’s Electronic Invoicing Portal.

The Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Portal, hosted by P2P automation leader Direct Commerce (DCI), enables your business to submit invoices electronically, review historical invoice data, and view payment status online over a secured internet connection.  This program benefits you as a Carolinas Healthcare System supplier in many ways including:

  • Faster payments and improved cash flow as a result of prompt invoice delivery and reduced errors
  • Reduced costs due to the elimination of paper and mail-processing expenses
  • Fewer rejected invoices as re-keying and data entry errors are eliminated
  • Access to your invoice, PO, and payment information online 24/7 via secured website
  • Improved cash forecasting due to greater, real time visibility of your invoice status

Your company will be able to submit invoices efficiently, reduce costly errors, and initiate communication with Carolinas Healthcare System about invoices and payments.

Summary of Options

Your company can participate in this simple and easy-to-use process at no cost to your business in one of two ways – Web Portal or Standard File Upload.  In addition to these no-cost options, Direct Commerce offers custom file upload automation process with a one-time implementation fee.

1)  Web Portal  – no charge

Online access via The Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Web Portal is the preferred option for those suppliers that submit less than 100 invoices per month to Carolinas Healthcare System.

Suppliers that select this option simply have to enroll with Direct Commerce.  Once enrolled, you will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a Quick Start Guide.

Go Live for this option begins as soon as your account is activated by Direct Commerce.

2)  Standard File Upload via FTP – no charge

Suppliers must submit more than 100 invoices per month on average.  To select this option, suppliers must enroll with Direct Commerce and reach out to the Onboarding team by sending an email to vendorrollout@directcommerce.com.  Once enrolled, you will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a Quick Start Guide.

You will then be contacted by a Vendor Rollout specialist to help facilitate the rest of the project.

The standard file formats are described in this document and include:

a) Standard EDI File Upload (preferred)

b) Standard CSV File Upload

c) Standard XML File Upload

3)  Custom File Upload – one-time implementation fee

Direct Commerce can accept non-standard CSV and XML via a host of other protocols including HTTPS, SFTP, or SMTP.

These services are available as a custom file upload process and as such there is a one-time implementation fee to configure, test and activate a supplier account using this process.

Suppliers must be enrolled in the portal to be able to send custom file uploads

Carolinas Healthcare System Policies

Via its secured e-Invoicing Web Portal or DCI standard file upload exchange, Carolinas Healthcare System is providing its suppliers with easy-to-implement, no-cost methods to activate a secured electronic invoicing account.

As such, it is Carolinas Healthcare System’s expectation that its suppliers will take prompt advantage of its e-Invoicing solution as it reduces costs, increases productivity and provides faster processing for both Carolinas Healthcare System and its suppliers.

Effective December 22nd, 2014 Carolinas Healthcare System expects its suppliers to submit invoices electronically via one of the methodologies described in this e-Invoicing specification.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Carolinas Healthcare System at CHSAccountsPayable@carolinashealthcare.org.

On behalf of Carolinas Healthcare System, we look forward to your participation in this important electronic invoicing program!

Implementation Timeline

Web portal training is available to all suppliers and will begin 1 week before the go-live date of November 3rd, 2014.  All suppliers should plan on attending this training.  When the web portal is live all registered users will be able to login to the portal and submitted electronic invoices.  Testing for file uploaders is broken down into 3 waves and suppliers will be able to choose the testing cycle that works for them.  The testing cycles will require two round trip tests with Direct Commerce to ensure that the data and transmissions are valid.

Implementation Timeline of Web Portal and File Upload

Enrollment

To activate your Carolinas Healthcare System’s electronic invoicing account, you must be enrolled.

The person from your organization who enrolls through the web portal will be activated as the System Administer and will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a username, temporary password, login URL, and Quick Start Guide.  Your company can submit invoices immediately after you log into the Web Portal.

For Standard or Custom File Upload methods, testing and Go Live are specified in the following section.

File Upload Testing

If you request standard EDI, CSV or XML file upload options, your company has two weeks to complete test phase as described above. Direct Commerce will communicate with your System  Administrator two weeks prior to go-live to ensure all testing is complete and then will activate your account on the go-live date of the selected wave.

Go Live Date

1)     Web Portal – December 22nd, 2014

You can submit invoices, view payment status, and search invoice history using the secured Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Portal once your account is activated.

2)     Standard File Upload – Waved Approach (Wave 1: December 22nd, 2014)

Successful testing of the standard file upload process must be done prior to the selected wave.  Direct Commerce will contact your company after testing is complete to confirm your Go Live Date according to the chart above.

3)     Custom File Upload – to be scheduled

Suppliers that select custom file upload will be charged a one-time implementation fee.  Upon payment of this fee, a Direct Commerce project manager will contact your System Administrator and determine a Go Live timetable that accommodates your business.

Web Portal Access

Online access via the e-Invoicing Web Portal is the preferred option for suppliers to submit invoices electronically to Carolinas Healthcare System.

Suppliers that select this option simply have to enroll in the web portal.  Carolinas Healthcare System will approve your enrollment within 10 business days and you will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a Quick Start Guide.

Go Live for this option begins as soon as your account is activated by Carolinas Healthcare System.  You can submit invoices, view payment status, and search invoice history using the secured Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Portal.

Access to view and create invoice transactions will work using all supported web browsers including Internet Explorer (version 10 or later), Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

 

File Upload Process

This specification describes how Direct Commerce provides programmatic access to The Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Portal for uploading invoice files.

Note: In addition to uploading invoices, your company may wish to also use The Carolinas Healthcare System Web Portal for self-service features such as payment status look-up, historical invoice data searches, online dialog with Carolinas Healthcare System, and document history information.

Figure 1: The diagram below describes the general flow of data between your company, Direct Commerce and your customer, Carolinas Healthcare System.

 General flow between data company, Direct Commerce and your customer, Carolinas Healthcare System

File Upload Process

To begin the file upload process, you will need to identify the method and wave that best suits your needs. Once your response has been processed, DCI assigns a technical project manager to your account and will contact your company’s System Administrator by email. DCI will set up a test account in The Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing test environment, a.k.a. the QA environment, which mirrors The Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Portal.

The System Administrator will get a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with login credentials for the QA environment; This person will need to login into the QA environment to verify all test results.

The DCI file upload process involves conducting 2 round-trip tests with invoice data files using the agreed upon transfer protocol.  A round-trip test refers to uploading one invoice data file and verifying the success of the upload by viewing the upload report and confirming the correctness of the uploaded data from any browser.

Of the 2 tests, we request that the first invoice data file contain only valid invoices and the second invoice data file contain a mix of valid and invalid invoices. Invalid invoices should fail the validation rules for Carolinas Healthcare System. For example, an invoice missing an invoice number or with a duplicate invoice number will always fail validation since unique invoice numbers are required by Carolinas Healthcare System to pay an invoice.

Once all testing is verified as correct by you and Carolinas Healthcare System, Direct Commerce will activate your account on The Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing Portal.  Your System Administrator should verify the first invoices are successfully submitted to Carolinas Healthcare System. The Administrator can also set up additional System users within your company, update the primary contact information, and look up invoice status and payment details.

Steps for Completion

This process typically takes one to two weeks, although depending on the availability of your company’s IT resources, the testing iterations (which includes the data mapping process) may require more or less time.

Steps for Completion

 

Invoice Validation Rules

Invoices must pass validation according to the business rules for Carolinas Healthcare System in order to be submitted to them. These rules include required fields, acceptable values for certain fields, and other document checks that make sure that invoice transactions are acceptable to Carolinas Healthcare System.

Invoice Validation Rules

EDI Invoice File Formats

This section describes EDI file formats supported for Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing transmission. Adhering to the formats outlined in this document will minimize implementation and testing time.  Supported invoice upload formats include:

Invoice EDI 810

In addition to validating the structure of uploaded files, DCI applies business-level validation rules to the uploaded invoice data. Please review these rules to ensure that your invoices conform to The Carolinas Healthcare System rules required to accept invoice transactions.

Standard CSV Invoice File Format

This section describes the standard CSV file format supported for Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing transmission. Adhering to the formats outlined in this document will minimize implementation and testing time.  Supported invoice upload formats include:

Standard CSV File

In addition to validating the structure of uploaded files, DCI applies business-level validation rules to the uploaded invoice data. Please review these rules to ensure that your invoices conform to The Carolinas Healthcare System rules required to accept invoice transactions.

Standard XML Invoice File Format

This section describes the standard CSV file format supported for Carolinas Healthcare System e-Invoicing transmission. Adhering to the formats outlined in this document will minimize implementation and testing time.  Supported invoice upload formats include:

Standard XML File

In addition to validating the structure of uploaded files, DCI applies business-level validation rules to the uploaded invoice data. Please review these rules to ensure that your invoices conform to The Carolinas Healthcare System rules required to accept invoice transactions.

Transfer Protocol

Direct Commerce (DCI) supports the FTP transmission protocol for transmission of data.  DCI will provide you with an FTP inbox of your own on our FTP server if you need one, if however you have your own FTP you prefer let DCI know and they can accommodate your server.

Direct Commerce polls the FTP server once per hour.

DCI does not have a required file naming convention you must follow however we recommend making the file name unique, for example: batch_..

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not upload 2 files with the same name as the second file with the same name will override the data in the first file.

Invoices submitted into Carolinas Healthcare System’s financial System will be approved according to their internal invoice approval process. You may be able to view the remittance details as Carolinas Healthcare System approves and pays those invoices.

Custom File Upload

Suppliers who would like to utilize different file formats or non-standard CSV or XML files and protocols may purchase a ‘custom file uploader’ package from Direct Commerce.  Please contact vendorrollout@directcommerce.com if you would like to purchase this option.

Technical Support

After your setup is complete and when your company is actively sending and receiving batch files and other transmissions to and from Direct Commerce you may occasionally need technical assistance. For example, a transmission may fail or a batch file may be corrupt; for these types of technical issue please contact the Direct Commerce Supplier Rollout group directly at:

vendorrollout@directcommerce.com

Appendix

User Role Definitions

System Administrator: You must have at least one System Administrator.  This person can add additional users to the Web Portal and reset passwords.  The System Administrator can have additional roles, such as Processor.

Processor: A Processor can submit invoices to Carolinas Healthcare System using the Web Portal.  Processors can also search for information, send dialog messages to Carolinas Healthcare System and look at invoice history and payment information.