|U.S. Department of Labor||Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs
Division of Energy Employees Occupational
Washington, DC 20210
Issue Date: September 14, 2020
Effective Date: September 14, 2020
Expiration Date: September 14, 2021
Subject: Imaging Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) case adjudication documentation
Background: In 2013, DEEOIC initiated the use of the OWCP Imaging System (OIS) to create an electronic file document inventory. Since the implementation of OIS, DEEOIC has electronically imaged all incoming documentation received in the claim adjudication process. This has led to the assembly of three different case types:
1. Fully Paper Case Files – DEEOIC case files created prior to the implementation of the OIS system. DEEOIC maintains a physical filing location for all full paper case files.
2. Fully Imaged Case Files – DEEOIC case files created after the implementation of OIS or files that DEEOIC has converted to a fully scanned file. DEEOIC maintains all case documentation for a fully imaged case file in an electronic format.
3. Hybrid Case Files – DEEOIC case files containing both hardcopy documents and imaged documents comprise the official case record. Part 1 is the portion of the official case file that contains solely hardcopy format documents. Part 2 is the portion of the official case file that contains solely imaged format documents.
DEEOIC has developed internal administrative guidance for the processing, scanning and indexing of documentation received or created during the claims adjudication process. Different user roles exist with regard to OIS interactions, including contactor staff with the Central Mail Room (CMR) and district offices, staff within the resource centers, and DEEOIC claims adjudication staff. Each role has different actions to take in connection with the proper scanning and uploading of documents into OIS.
To expand the availability of complete case records to staff, DEEOIC has also initiated an effort to convert legacy hard-copy documents for electronic retention in OIS. The Back File Conversion (BFC) is a process that involves scanning existing paper documents from either a fully paper file or a hybrid case file to allow for an imaged case file to exist in OIS.
Since the implementation of OIS, DEEOIC is updating instructions regarding the process of imaging records and the application of OIS to support claims adjudication activities.
Purpose: The purpose of this Bulletin is to provide staff with updated instructions in the use of OIS for the retention of DEEOIC case documentation.
1. Upon receipt of new mail, CMR contract staff is responsible for preparing documents for scanning. Contract staff prepare the documents by removing staples, paper clips, and post-it notes; and taping down small slips of paper, etc. Contract staff will batch documents received in the order received. In arranging documents for scanning, the contractor will ensure the postmark date on any mailing envelope is visible for scanning. If necessary, CMR contract staff may make a hard copy of any envelope or package address label for ease of document batch assembly. Contract staff will add scanned images of envelopes to the end of the document batch.
2. Once the CMR contract
· Document ID – A unique number identifying a document within the system
· Capture source – Identifies the imaging source used to upload the document
· Submission date – the date the document was uploaded into the system
· DCN (Document Control Number) – Each document scanned at the CMR or uploaded through the Energy Document Portal (EDP) receives a DCN which is used to track the document throughout the scanning process
· Batch Name/ID – Identifier for production scan batches used for quality and production control; not used for documents imaged by the program user or uploaded through the EDP
3. Once initial scanning is complete, CMR contract staff will then compare each scanned image to the paper original to confirm that the image is a clear, legible, and accurate reproduction. Any images deemed illegible will be re-scanned with any adjustments possible on the scanning device including changing resolution settings, darkness settings, or other scanning options. If the image quality is still sub-optimal after rescanning, the CMR contractor will include a descriptor in the document description field. The CMR contractor will also input “BP” in the index note field, which represents that the document is the “best possible” image. When making any updates to the description field, DEEOIC staff will not alter or delete the “BP” entry.
4. Once scanning is complete, the CMR contractor will review each incoming scan by received date to categorize documents. The CMR contractor will review the batch documentation to associate the document batch to an existing case file in OIS. This will involve review of the document batch for a listed Case ID number or, in other situations, using information, such as a claimant name or other identifier, to cross-reference the document to an existing case file maintained in OIS. With the receipt of an EE-1, EE-2 or EE-3 claim form, the contractor will transmit the form to DEEOIC Case Creation for processing. If the CMR contractor is unable to associate a document to a case file, the contractor will route the document to an “Unnumbered Mail Queue” in OIS. The CMR will assign documents to the unnumbered mail queue for each district office based on the zip code of the return address. Each district office has designated staff assigned to review the unnumbered mail queue and those staff will attempt to associate the document to an existing case.
5. After the CMR contractor has associated a document batch to an existing case file in OIS, the contractor will input data necessary for indexing the document into OIS. The OIS index is a data set that helps organize documents by topic. DEEOIC maintains a glossary of OIS categories and subjects that the contractor will use for document indexing. The CMR contractor manually inputs the following data once the document batch is associated with an existing claim file:
· Case Number – Numeric sequence representing a unique case
· Document Category – A broad classification of the document, such as Medical, Employment, etc.
· Document Subject – A more refined classification of the document, such as Congressional. This element is only added for certain prescribed document types during this stage of the process
· Author Date – The date on the document (if provided)
· Received Date – The date DEEOIC receives the document
6. Once the contract staff has completed the data input, the document will be registered in OIS as created and releasable to the assigned Claims Examiner (CE). Once assigned to the CE, OIS registers the document as “unreviewed.” The CE is then responsible for reviewing the document to make any necessary adjustments to the indexing categorization. The CE will take appropriate action on any incoming documents.
7. The contractor will retain original paper documents that are scanned for a minimum of seven calendar days. Once this period has elapsed, the contractor will dispose of the paper record according to destruction procedures for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) paper documents.
8. For all documents generated internally by DEEOIC staff, including CEs, Hearing Representatives, or Medical Benefit Examiners, the assigned DEEOIC staff person is responsible for imaging (also referred to as bronzing into OIS) any documents created and finalized as part of the claim adjudication process. This includes outgoing development letters, acknowledgement notices, referrals to DEEOIC program specialists, outputs of data, online research or other program resources applicable to the claim process, decisions, memos to file, payment transactional data, phone calls, etc. DEEOIC staff is to also be mindful to image email communications that are relevant to case adjudication activities such as resolution of medical billing/coding, queries to subject matter experts, policy clarifications or claimant engagements. DEEOIC staff will index each uploaded document by the applicable OIS category and subject. DEEOIC staff will upload the final published version of any document physically signed or stamped with a digital signature. DEEOIC staff who receive documentation directly that relates to a claim are responsible for imaging and indexing properly such documentation into OIS (such as documents that a DEEOIC staff person receives via fax or email). This applies to complete EN-20 (Acceptance of Payment) forms submitted to the district office to process payment of lump-sum compensation on approved claims. DEEOIC Resource Center staff will assist with uploading documents to the EDP when they take possession of claim documents brought to the center by claimants or received via mail. In these instances, the Resource Center staff add a document category only. Once added to the unreviewed mail queue, the assigned DEEOIC staff person managing the case file will adjust the OIS categorization index, if necessary, and add any other indexing information relating to the document.
9. DEEOIC has initiated a special project for converting existing fully paper and hybrid cases to a fully scanned electronic case record. DEEOIC field operations is sending batches of these hard copy files to the Cleveland and Seattle District Offices for conversion. Cases identified for BFC undergo a separate imaging process by the contractor staff located in those offices. DEEOIC contract staff are to image the entirety of the paper portion of any fully paper or hybrid file that DEEOIC has flagged for BFC. Contract staff within the district office scan the paper documentation in the order maintained in the case file and index the Document Category and subject as “BFC Batch.” The contractor will assign a received date for the BFC of 12/31/2013, which corresponds with the approximate date when all subsequent documents received by DEEOIC were scanned into OIS. DEEOIC will retain the hard copy file for each case that undergoes BFC for a minimum of seven calendar days. For quality control, the contractor and designated DEEOIC federal staff will conduct intermittent evaluations of BFC batches to ensure the conversion process is satisfying scanning expectations.
Distribution: Supervisors, Claims Examiners, Claims Assistants, Technical Assistants, District Office Mail and File Operations.
|RACHEL POND||Digitally signed by RACHEL POND Date: 2020.09.14 11:44:41 -04'00'|
Rachel D. Pond
Director, Division of
Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation