Questions Submitted by the Public, by Date Posted to the Website. Retaining maximum field lengths in transactions


Are covered entities expected to retain in all circumstances the entire content received in a standard transaction? A majority of data elements on the HIPAA transactions have lengths in excess of the field lengths on our local record formats. Are covered entities responsible for preventing truncation of the content received in a standard transaction in all circumstances or does it depend whether the data processed is needed for sending to another entity?


Health plans and health care clearinghouses are required to be able to accept the "maximum" data set; this includes maximum fields lengths as well as all of the required and situational data elements possible in a standard transaction. Extraneous data does not have to be processed; however, if a health plan electronically performs coordination of benefits, with another health plan, the health plan must store the coordination of benefits data that is necessary to forward to the other health plan.