Electronic Data Interchange

What is Electronic Data Interchange 

The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), an international association of workers' compensation administrators, has established standards on reporting industrial accidents since its inception in 1914.

The IAIABC Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) project is staffed by the IAIABC EDI Committees, a collaboration of industry regulators, insurance carriers, employers and EDI product vendors, and association staff.

The goal for the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) is to seamlessly process workers' compensation information from its initial reporting source, whether that is the employer, insurance company, claimant or medical provider.

EDI works to resolve main obstacles the DWC encounters regarding data collection:

  • the lack of credible information to identify and measure the factors driving costs higher
  • a lack of uniformity among forms and terms which prevents comparisons between states
  • an excess of administrative paperwork

Reliable data is used to identify the causes and extent of work place injuries and illness. It can be used by employers to reduce the incidence and severity of injury and illness. Comparable data can be used by law makers to draw comparisons across jurisdictional lines and measure the impact of legislative and regulatory reform. Reliable data can measure and help determine the main cost influencers.

EDI In Iowa

Iowa has been accepting Employers First Reports of Injury via EDI since 1996. This is under Release 1 of the IAIABC's EDI Program. Release 1 provides for one transmission for the Employers First Reports of Injury and one transmission for Supplemental Reports.

In August of 1997 Iowa became the first state to receive the IAIABC's Release 2 Beta EDI Program for testing. Release 2 is an enhancement of Release 1 and expanded the information being transmitted. It also combined the Employers First Reports of Injury and Supplemental Report into a single transmission.

The Beta program was tested in partnership with Employers Mutual Insurance Companies, Inc. This test was completed in May of 1998. Release 2 was released for production nationwide following successful completion of the Beta in Iowa. Iowa placed Release 2 into production on July 1, 1999, with the Employers Mutual Insurance Companies, Inc.

Iowa has mandated use of the EDI Release 2 standards for reporting of First Reports of Injury and Supplemental Reports of Injury. Effective July 1, 2001, the state of Iowa no longer accepted paper forms for the reporting requirements for work injuries in Iowa.

This enterprise is a culmination of years of planning and development in conjunction with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC). Many other jurisdictions, employers, and insurance carriers were involved in the development of the IAIABC’s Release 2 standardized system of electronic reporting of work injuries. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a major step toward adopting a paperless business environment. The benefits to EDI reporting include: reduction of paperwork, one time data entry, reduced errors, improved error detection, on-line data storage, faster management reporting, automatic reconciliation, reduced clerical workload, high productivity without increasing staff; reduced paper usage, more timely communications, rapid exchange of business data, elimination of mail charges, improved production cycle, uniform communications with all trading partners, and national standard for reporting to enable interstate comparison of data.

For more information about EDI in Iowa contact:

Janna Martin
EDI Contact
Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation
1000 East Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Phone: 515-281-4177

For more information about EDI nationally:

5610 Medical Circle, Ste. 24
Madison, WI  53719
Phone: 608-663-6355

EDI Links