WCIS e.News
#1    May 3, 2000

Occasional announcements and technical updates regarding
California's Workers' Compensation Information System (WCIS),
from the California Division of Workers' Compensation


JCN Usage Relaxed

The California Division of Workers' Compensation has modified its usage of the Jurisdiction Claim Number (JCN) in reporting data to WCIS. The JCN is a twelve digit number created by WCIS that identifies each claim.  A unique JCN is provided to claims administrators upon receipt of each new First Report of Injury.

With the new usage, the JCN will be used if present but will not be absolutely necessary for filing most Subsequent Reports, as well as Change, Correction, and Cancel Reports.  Previously the JCN was necessary on these reports.  This modification is in response to repeated requests from California claims administrators.  The change will become effective at the time California begins processing Subsequent Reports, which is expected to be in June, 2000.  Continued use of the JCN for all EDI transactions will be strongly recommended.  The change will be reflected in future revisions of the California EDI Implementation Guide.

From a technical standpoint, a missing JCN will be treated as a "Minor" error.  Minor errors are tracked for internal purposes only; they will not cause an EDI transaction to be rejected, and will not result in an error message.  Each new EDI transaction will be matched to data reported previously for the claim by the JCN if present or else by the Claim Administrator FEIN and the Claim Administrator Claim Number.  A transaction will be rejected if no match can be found, except for First Reports with Maintenance Type Code (MTC) of 00, 04, or UI.  The combination of Claim Administrator FEIN and Claim Administrator Claim Number must be unique.  If a claims administrator cannot guarantee a unique combination, then they should use the JCN.

Currently - and until implementation of the relaxed JCN usage is complete - the JCN must be present on reports with MTC equal to CO, 02, or 01 (Correction, Change, or Cancel), or the transaction will be rejected.  WCIS had originally planned to apply this processing to Subsequent Reports as well.

While the JCN usage has been relaxed, DWC still strongly recommends that it be used by claims administrators on every transmission for each claim. The JCN provides the most reliable match to previously reported data because California's JCNs are designed to prevent simple data entry errors. Our JCNs include both a sequential and a random component, so if the digits from valid a JCN are inadvertently switched or mis-typed, the result will almost always be an invalid JCN rather than the JCN for a different claim.  Further, while the Claim Administrator Claim Number may change over the life of a claim, the JCN does not.  If a claim administrator changes its own Claim Administrator Claim Number for a claim, WCIS will be unable to match to the claim unless the JCN is provided.  Some claim administrators change their claim numbers for a variety of reasons; others do not.

The JCN will also continue to be important as a match element when a claim is acquired by a new claims administrator.  IAIABC transaction standards do not enable use of the Claims Administrator FEIN and Claims Administrator Claim Number for matching in this case.  Since other secondary match items (Date of Injury, Nature of Injury Code, Part of Body Injured Code, Employee Last Name, and Employee First Name) are less reliable, the use of JCN in acquisitions will help prevent unnecessary data errors.

<End of this WCIS e.News>
Contents of this bulletin do not change existing regulatory requirements; they provide additional or revised detail about the technical implementation of those requirements. All technical changes will subsequently be reflected in other WCIS documentation. Any bulletin can be forwarded as needed, but should be forwarded in its entirety and without modification. If you have received a forwarded copy of this bulletin and are concerned about its authenticity, you can view this and previous bulletins on our WCIS web site: www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/wcis.htm.

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