FHIR Release 3 (STU)

This page is part of the FHIR Specification (v3.0.2: STU 3). The current version which supercedes this version is 5.0.0. For a full list of available versions, see the Directory of published versions . Page versions: R5 R4B R4 R3

Work Group Financial Management Ballot Status: Informative

The Financial module covers the resources and services provided by FHIR to support the costing, financial transactions and billing which occur within a healthcare provider as well as the eligibility, enrollment, authorizations, claims and payments which occur between healthcare providers and insurers and the reporting and notification between insurers and subscribers and patients.

See also the Administration and WorkFlow modules.

Image showing the relationship between the financial resources


AccountCost centerA financial tool for tracking value accrued for a particular purpose. In the healthcare field, used to track charges for a patient, cost centers, etc.
CoverageFinancial instrument which may be used to reimburse or pay for health care products and services.
EligibilityRequestThe EligibilityRequest provides patient and insurance coverage information to an insurer for them to respond, in the form of an EligibilityResponse, with information regarding whether the stated coverage is valid and in-force and optionally to provide the insurance details of the policy.
EligibilityResponseThis resource provides eligibility and plan details from the processing of an Eligibility resource.
EnrollmentRequestThis resource provides the insurance enrollment details to the insurer regarding a specified coverage.
EnrollmentResponseThis resource provides enrollment and plan details from the processing of an Enrollment resource.

Claims, processing and responses

ClaimA provider issued list of services and products provided, or to be provided, to a patient which is provided to an insurer for payment recovery.
ClaimResponseRemittance AdviceThis resource provides the adjudication details from the processing of a Claim resource.

Used to support service payment processing and reporting

PaymentNoticeThis resource provides the status of the payment for goods and services rendered, and the request and response resource references.
PaymentReconciliationThis resource provides payment details and claim references supporting a bulk payment.

Patient reporting and other purposes

ExplanationOfBenefitEOBThis resource provides: the claim details; adjudication details from the processing of a Claim; and optionally account balance information, for informing the subscriber of the benefits provided.

Additional Resources will be added in the future. A list of hypothesized resources can be found on the HL7 wiki . Feel free to add any you think are missing or engage with one of the HL7 Work Groups to submit a proposal to define a resource of particular interest.

Financial information in general and in particular when related to or including health information, such as claims data, are typically considered Protected Health Information and as such must be afforded the same protection and safeguards as would be afforded to purely clinical identified health data.

The Security and Privacy measures associated with FHIR, such as the use of Security labels and tags in the resource.meta, is encouraged as are the use of whatever measures for authorization and encryption are supported by the chosen exchange model, e.g. FHIR REST, Web Services, Direct, MLLP, SMTP and others.

For more general considerations, see the Security and Privacy module.

The table below details various common business activities which occur in the financial realm, and the focal resources which may be exchanged, along with supporting resources, to accomplish the business activities. Whether the resources specified are actually needed requires consideration of the business itself and the exchange methodology and transport being used.

For example: If a content model is not required to obtain the appropriate status element then a SEARCH (GET) may be used, however if a content model is required to support the request for information then the content model will need to be CREATEd (POST). Alternately, if FHIR Operations are being used then the specified focal resource may be employed as one of the Operation parameters or may not be required.

Business ActivityRequest ResourceResponse Resource
Eligibility CheckEligibilityRequestEligibilityResponse
Enrollment UpdateEnrollmentRequestEnrollmentResponse
ClaimClaim (type={discipline}, use=complete)ClaimResponse
Pre-determinationClaim (type={discipline}, use=exploratory)ClaimResponse
Pre-AuthorizationClaim (type={discipline}, use=proposed)ClaimResponse
ReversalProcessRequest (action=cancel, nullify=false)ClaimResponse
NullifyProcessRequest (action=cancel, nullify=true)ClaimResponse
Re-adjudicationProcessRequest (action=reprocess)ClaimResponse
Status CheckProcessRequest (action=status)ProcessResponse
Pended Check (Polling)ProcessRequest (action=poll){Resource} or ProcessResponse
Payment NoticePaymentNoticeProcessResponse
Payment ReconciliationProcessRequest (action=poll, include=PaymentReconciliation)PaymentReconciliation
Send AttachmentsCommunicationProcessResponse
Request AttachmentsProcessRequest (action=poll, include=CommunicationRequest)CommunicationRequest
Request an Explanation of Benefits   ProcessRequest (action=poll, include=ExplanationOfBenefit)ExplanationOfBenefit

{discipline} means the type of claim: OralHealth, Vision, Pharmacy, Professional or Institutional.

{Resource} means any pended or undelivered resource subject to the selection details specified in the request.

The table below details the relative order of events and use of financial resources for patient care during the care cycle. Not all steps or information exchanges may occur, and supporting information may be required more frequently than has been depicted below.

Business ActivityFocal Resource
Patient visits Provider
Provider checks for valid insurance coverageEligibilityRequest
Insurer responds with coverage status and optional plan detailsEligibilityResponse
Provider examines Patient and reviews treatment options
Provider submits Pre-determination(s) for treatment options to determine potential reimbursementClaim {use=exploratory}
Insurer responds with potential reimbursementClaimResponse
Provider and Patient determine treatment plan
Treatment plan submitted to Insurer to reserve fundsClaim {use=proposed}
Insurer acknowledges receipt of pre-authorizationClaimResponse
Insurer requests additional informationCommunicationRequest
Provider submits supporting informationCommunication
Insurer provides adjudicated response to pre-authorizationClaimResponse
Provider checks on status of pre-authorization processingProcessRequest {action=status}
Insurer responds indicating adjudication is readyProcessResponse
Provider retrieves pre-authorization adjudicationREAD or ProcessRequest {action=poll}
Provider provides treatment
Provider submits patient's claim for reimbursementClaim {use=complete}
Insurer responds with claim adjudicationClaimResponse
Patient leaves treatment setting
Patient requests an Explanation of Benefit for their Personal Health Record applicationREAD or ProcessRequest {action=poll}
Insurer responds with Explanation of BenefitExplanationOfBenefit
Provider requests the payment details associated with a bulk paymentSEARCH or ProcessRequest {action=poll}
Insurer responds with a Payment ReconciliationPaymentReconciliation
Insurer notifies provider that payment has been issuedPaymentNotice
Insurer notifies parties that payment funds have been receivedPaymentNotice

In addition to their primary use of conveying patient billing information to insurers for reimbursement either to the subscriber or the provider (assignment of benefit), many of the financial resources, such as Claim and ExplanationOfBenefit, may be used to export data to other agencies to support reporting and analytics.

There is often a need to provide supporting information, commonly referred to as attachments, to document the need for a service and/or to confirm that the good or service was authorized or rendered. This information may be in many forms, including: scanned documents, PDFs, word processing files, XRays, images, CDAs and FHIR Resources.

Supporting information may be provided, as a reference or the actual material, to support the Claim (complete claim or Pre-Authorization) or ExplanationOfBenefit in a variety of manners:

  • Included: in the {resource}.information section;
  • Unsolicited: in a Communication which refers to the Claim or Explanation Of Benefit; or
  • Solicited: in a Communication in response to a CommunicationRequest from the insurer requesting more information; or
  • Input: in the input parameters of a FHIR operation or Task.input element if a Task resource is used.

The Financial Management Work Group (FM) is responsible for two subdomains:

Financial Accounts and Billing (FIAB) - resources for accounts, charges (internal costing transactions) and patient billing, and
Financial Claims and Reimbursement (FICR) - insurance information, enrollment, eligibility, pre-authorization, claims, patient reporting and payments.

To date FM has been focusing on the resources required to support the exchange of claims and related information between healthcare providers and insurers. The first draft of this work is nearing completion with the release of the first Financial Standard for Trial Use in STU3 of FHIR. Over the next year further refinements will be expected as we begin developing regional profiles and begin live pilots with resources.

Once the above is well underway FM can then look to developing the Enrollment-related resources and the resources to support the FIAB functions.

In many cases an example valueset has been provided in this release. Financal Management will be devoting effort in the preparation to Release 4 of FHIR to develop more representative example sets and to determine where global codesets exist such that some of the valuesets may be elevated in strength to extensible or required.