General Questions
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How to Register

User Guide for Hospital Special Quality Reports
System Requirements
User Fee Related Questions
Hospital Confidential Reporting Questions


What is CHIA-INET?

CHIA-INET is a Web-based transaction service of the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA). The language of the actual agreement form will govern the use of CHIA-INET. This Q&A is designed to introduce CHIA-INET to potential users.

Who will use CHIA-INET?

CHIA-INET will be available to all entities (Data Reporters) that file data with the Center for Health Information and Analysis. To register for CHIA-INET, one completes and signs a Data Reporting Agreement, and has individual User Agreements completed for each individual who will be filing data for your organization. The User Agreements identify the Data Reporter's particular employees or agents/contractors and the particular submissions to which each require access. The Data Reporter is given the opportunity to restrict the access of information to its employees by submission type.

Why do I want to have my entity use CHIA-INET?

CHIA-INET will reduce administrative burden and save time and money. With Internet submissions you can:

  1. Eliminate costly media (no more tapes, disks, and paper forms) and handling.
  2. Save on courier costs to submit and track the information.
  3. Reduce the turn-around time for submissions and delivery.
  4. View your online submission logs to verify transfer status.
  5. Download submission edit reports (where applicable).

Do I need any special software programs?

If you are simply filing information that is aggregated to the organizational level (e.g., cost/financial/statistical reports), no additional software is necessary. If you are filing patient-level data, CHIA will provide you with a program that will encrypt and decrypt all files containing patient-level information. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0 or higher. The Acrobat Reader is available as a free download from the Adobe website. When a Data Reporter attempts to link to CHIA-INET and they do not have an upgraded browser, they will be prompted to the direct upgrade link.

What happens if I forget my CHIA-INET user name and password?

You can receive another user name and password by calling 617-988-3100 or by emailing the Help Desk at By supplying your pass phrase and security information, your request will be fulfilled. The new information will be emailed to your account.

Is there a charge to use CHIA-INET?

No. Use of CHIA-INET is free of charge.

What if I need help once I start using CHIA-INET?

You can call 617-988-3100 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday when you need assistance. You can also send an email to

Are there any limitations to when I can enter or send my data via CHIA-INET?

The CHIA-INET system may be unavailable, due to maintenance, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Monday through Friday.

How long will CHIA-INET remain open if I do not hit a key?

There is a 25-minute time-out when on online. If a user does not press a key for 25 minutes, he/she will be logged out and placed back at the sign-on screen. This means that any data being entered online that has not been saved will be LOST. Therefore, users should get the information ready before logging on, and be sure to SAVE information before going off or looking for information. Users can save data and reenter the online data screens many times until the data is actually submitted, so users should save data frequently during any session.


What do I need to do to register for CHIA-INET?

It's easy to access CHIA-INET. All you need is a standard Web browser (we recommend Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher). Complete the necessary agreements and send them to the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Once you receive your User ID and password go to, enter your information, and click on 'Continue'. For specific systems requirements, see the Systems Requirements section below.

Please complete the forms in their entirety and fax them to 617-727-7662 with a cover sheet to the attention of CHIA-INET registration. You will receive an email to confirm receipt.

INET User Guide for Hospital Special Quality Reports

INET Data Security and User Agreement Forms for Hospital and Hospital Health Safety Net (HSN) Reporting:

INET Data Security and User Agreement Forms for Community Health Center (CHC) and CHC Health Safety Net (HSN) Reporting:

INET Data Security and User Agreement Forms for Nursing Facility Reporting:

INET Data Security and User Agreement Forms for Provider Reporting:

These Forms apply to the following Providers:

  • Adult Day Health
  • Adult Foster Care (AFC)
  • Ambulance
  • Day Habilitation
  • Student Health Insurance Program (SHP) for Massachusetts Institutions of Higher Education
  • Massachusetts Top Insurance Companies for Health Safety Net (HSN) Monthly Surcharge Reporting
  • Ambulatory Surgical Providers for Health Safety Net (HSN) Quarterly Surcharge Reporting

INET Data Security and User Agreement Forms for Insurance Carrier Reporting:

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (Recommended Minimum)

Processor Type

Pentium 100 MHz or greater
486 processor
Please Note: 486 refers to the processor type, and not the speed (MHz) at which it operates.

Operating System

Any system that can run Internet Explorer.


1. Internet Explorer (IE) 5.5


32 MB or greater
16 MB

Modem/Connection Speed

56K or greater

Internet Connection

Internet Service Provider (ISP) connection via dialup, cable, DSL (e.g. Verizon, Comcast, etc.) or organization network connection (LAN/WAN)

Other Software

  • Secure Encryption and Decryption System (SENDS) - supplied by DHCFP
  • Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® 4.0 or greater


Do CHIA-INET User Fee Data Reporters need to complete the Confidential Data Reporting Agreement?

No. User Fee Data Reporters need to complete the Non-confidential Data Reporting Agreement.


How secure is my information on CHIA-INET?

CHIA-INET uses standard Web technologies -- the same technology that protects credit cards and online banking transactions. That means that information passing from a Data Reporter's computer to CHIA is encrypted, making it almost impossible for anyone outside of CHIA's system to access the Data Reporter's information. CHIA will provide you with the encryption and decryption software (SENDS) described below. CHIA-INET will work only if the Data Reporter has a browser that supports 128-bit encryption currently the highest level.

What is the Secure Encryption and Decryption System (SENDS), and why do I need it?

Because confidential information is being transferred, CHIA has created the Secure Encryption and Decryption System "SENDS" program to compress and encrypt the file(s). This level of encryption protects the data while at the Data Reporter's site awaiting submission, during the actual transmission, and at CHIA before it is processed. The same is true in reverse for files/reports downloaded from CHIA to Data Reporters.

Can I be reasonably sure that the information going over the Internet is kept secure and confidential?

Yes. CHIA-INET works only with browsers that support 128-bit encryption, the same technology used in the banking industry. Files transferred to and from this site are also encrypted prior to transferring the file, thus these files are encrypted twice while being transported across the Internet.

Can another Data Reporter see my information?

No. A Data Reporter can only see his/her own information. CHIA will work with you to provide the access you need to your data while ensuring confidentiality for all our Data Reporters.

What effect does HIPAA have on CHIA-INET?

CHIA-INET's encryption requirements exceed both current HIPAA requirements and the requirements currently known to be under consideration for the final rule.

Can I correct errors in records that fail in my edit report?

For data submitted by file transfer, online editing is not available. You must follow the normal procedures for correcting the information in your systems and resubmit using CHIA-INET. For data directly entered at the Web site, edit reports will be made available and Data Reporters may edit their data before submission.

Can I view reports of my data online in CHIA-INET?

Yes and no. Many of the reports contain information that is confidential, so reports containing confidential data must first be downloaded and then run through the SENDS program to decrypt and uncompress them. They can then be viewed, used and distributed as necessary. For aggregate, non-patient-level data, some reports may be available for viewing online.

What if I misplace a report?

Reports are available for downloading for a period of time. Users may download as many copies of the file as desired over that period of time.

What if I have questions about my reports or the data contained in them?

You can call 617-988-3100 for report specific questions, and they will direct you to the appropriate analyst for the particular report.

Why are there two Data Reporting Agreements; how does one differ from the other?

Data Reporters who will be reporting confidential data, such as patient level discharge information or claims for the Health Safety Net to CHIA must use the Confidential Data Reporting Agreement. If a provider is not reporting confidential data to CHIA, then the Non-confidential Data Security Agreement can be used. Whichever type is used, the Data Reporting Agreement is a legal document signed by a representative of CHIA and the person at the Data Reporter organization with legal authority to sign contracts (e.g., CEO, CIO, office manager, Medical Director, CFO).

Where do I send the original, signed Data Reporting Agreement and copies of the signed User Agreement Forms?

Send the signed forms to:

Center for Health Information and Analysis
Two Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116-4707
Attention: CHIA-INET

CHIA will return an executed copy of the Data Reporting Agreement to you.