In my January 24, 2007 post I described the tools needed by nursing homes to submit Medicare claims for reimbursement. A few weeks ago, batch submittal became much faster, but a bit more complicated from your computer support staff's point of view.
What's new? Just the way that you connect to the AT&T Global Network. If you have an high-speed Internet connection, you now have the option of using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect. What does this mean? Well, you don't need a modem. And it's faster. Much faster.
So how do you get it? First, call IVANS and request a new VPN account - your current dial-up username and password won't work. They will fax you a form to fill out and fax back. three to five days later, they will fax or mail a confirmation message. Once you have received this, go to the IVANS Download Page and find the column that best describes your operating system. If you're not sure, find My Computer, right-click on it, and select Properties. What will come up is a window describing your computer, and the info in the upper-right area is what is most important as it will say Windows 98 or 2000 or XP or whatever. Pick the VPN Access software appropriate for your computer, download it and save it someplace safe. Next, download and print out the VPN Enabling Guide that is appropriate for your computer - it is a must-read for making this go. Don't worry, they make it easy!
Warning, one major irritation is the included Firewall. I think it's nice of them to want to protect us from evil hackers and all, but it can cause some headaches. Like making your computers shared files and printers unavailable to your coworkers. So after you have finished with the instructions you have printed out, make sure and click Start -> Programs -> AT&T Global Network -> AT&T Firewall, then click Off. Save this setting and you're ready to rock!