CMS Introduces Electronic Documentation Submission Tool
By Alisa Pierce

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a free service to help physician practices of varying sizes and documentation workloads upload and submit medical documents, including prior authorization requests, electronically. 

The CMS Health Information Handler supports physicians with the exchange and submission of an unlimited number of medical documents. These include documents submitted to Medicare administrative contractors through: 

  • Portable document format (PDF); 
  • Extensible markup language (XML); and 
  • JavaScript object notation (JSON). 

The tool, hosted on CMS’ Amazon Web Services Cloud, adheres to all CMS security and privacy standards, and intends to help physicians secure approvals for services, attach medical records, and check prior authorization approval status. 

Per CMS, the Health Information Handler can serve any organization that wants to send medical documentation to the agency, ranging from an individual clinician or small practice sending a one-time document or small amounts of monthly transactions, to large organizations sending hundreds of documents a month. 

To utilize the handler tool, users must enter into a service agreement with CMS, perform testing, and obtain credentials with tool support during use and throughout the transaction submission process. Currently, no information technology expertise is required to use the tool. 

“This tool is meant to facilitate the electronic uploading of medical documentation for Medicare,” said Shannon Vogel, the Texas Medical Association’s associate vice president of health information technology. “We’re hopeful that by doing so, it will reduce the burden of documentation submission.” 

For more information on utilizing the tool, practices can email CMS.  

For help with health information exchange, visit TMA’s Health Information Technology page

Last Updated On

January 02, 2024

Originally Published On

December 08, 2023

Alisa Pierce

Reporter, Division of Communications and Marketing

(512) 370-1469
Alisa Pierce

Alisa Pierce is a reporter for Texas Medicine. After graduating from Texas State University, she worked in local news, covering state politics, public health, and education. Alongside her news writing, Alisa covered up-and-coming artists in Central Texas and abroad as a music journalist. As a Texas native, she enjoys capturing the landscape on her film camera while hiking her way across the Lonestar State.

More stories by Alisa Pierce