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Invoices Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do providers continue to submit invoices on a monthly basis?
Yes, invoices should be submitted each month. In a month in which no costs were incurred, a zero sum invoice should be submitted.

2. When I create my invoice, do I make the "Billing Period To" date the last day of the month?
Yes! Even if this day falls on a weekend, you need to indicate the last calendar day of the month. For example, for the month of June, the "Billing Period From" date would be "06/01/07"; the "Billing Period To" date would be "6/30/07." Otherwise, you will encounter an error message the following month indicating the prior month was not submitted. If such an error occurs (such as if "6/29/07" were used for the "Billing Period To" date), a supplemental invoice could be created for the final day missed in June. Alternatively, the final day of June may be captured in the July invoice, by using "6/30/07" in the "Billing Period To" date and "7/31/07" in the "Billing Period From" date.

3. Do I still need to submit a manual payment voucher?
No. Payment vouchers, now referred to as "Payment Requests for Commodities" (PRCs), are generated electronically in EIM/ESM.

4. What actions do the "Release" and "Authorize" buttons perform?
Providers use the Release button to submit the invoice to the person in his/her organization designated as the invoice authorizer. The invoice authorizer clicks the Authorize button to give final signatory approval and submit the invoice to the agency.

5. When can I create our organization's next invoice?
Providers can create an invoice for the next month once authorization of the previous month's invoice is complete. Invoice status may be viewed by conducting an invoice search from within the Billing module. A status job aid that describes invoice status states may be found via this link.

6. My invoice is in "ready" status, but we have not yet been paid. Why is this?
An invoice in "ready" status needs to be authorized or disapproved by provider staff with the appropriate role. Only then will the invoice be entered into the system for adjudication and be made available for program/accounting managers for review.

7. I am ready to do billing for the month, but can't seem to get an invoice out of "pending" status. What should I do?
Contact your agency contract manager to inquire. It could be that the invoice was automatically updated to a status of "pending" because the contract governing that invoice is "pending," which occurs when a contract amendment is underway. Your contract manager should be able to clarify.

8. I just finished my billing for the month, but realized that I forgot certain items. Do I need to wait until next month before I can bill for these costs?
No. You can create a supplemental invoice for the current month to reflect the missed items. Please note, however, that if a provider attempts to submit a supplemental invoice and the regular invoice for that billing period has been denied, EIM/ESM will reject the supplemental invoice.

9. I just released an invoice that contains an error. Is there any way I can correct it?
Yes. If the invoice has not been authorized by your organization, you need to contact the individual in your organization who serves as invoice authorizer. Ask him or her to disapprove the invoice. The invoice will be returned to a "draft" status and be editable. If the invoice has already been authorized by your organization, the invoice cannot be changed. However, you may submit a supplemental invoice to address the error. For example, if the original invoice was for $100 and should have been for $110, a supplemental invoice for $10 may be submitted.

10. When does it make sense to use the "copy invoice" feature in EIM/ESM?
You may find it helpful to use the "copy invoice" feature if you find that your bills, month to month, are very similar. Please note that this feature may only be used for invoices in a status other than "draft."

11. What is an invoice assessment? How do I know if I need to complete one?
Invoice assessments (called "Service Delivery Reports" prior to EIM/ESM) are structured questionnaires that allow providers to respond electronically to program-specific questions related to contract requirements and service deliverables. Requirements for invoice assessments vary with individual program policy. Contact your agency program manager for guidance.

12. How can I tell if I my invoice has been processed?
Invoices have a status in EIM/ESM that gets updated as they go through the creation, submission, approval, and payment processes. You can search for an invoice by status. Provider staff may want to implement certain business processes whereby they periodically check on the status of their invoices, as there is no system-generated notification for events such as denial of an invoice.

13. When will our organization get paid?
The average cycle time from release of a cost reimbursement invoice or a unit rate SDR to actual payment is 10 days. This process includes three key steps performed within EIM/ESM: (1) provider creation and submission of an invoice, (2) invoice validation and adjudication, and (3) invoice inclusion within a Payment Request for Commodity (PRC), which after agency approval is sent to MMARS for payment. Current processing reflects a significant improvement from timeframes prior to EIM/ESM, when the average number of days to payment across EOHHS agencies was 31.

A helpful step provider organizations can take to speed payments - if they have not already done so - is to use Electronic Fund Transfer. This payment method, which your agency contract manager can help you to sign up for, typically reduces payment time by a day or two.

14. What should I do if nine days have passed since invoice submission and my organization has not received payment?
In such instances, we recommend you contact your agency contract manager to determine whether a problem exists. Providers also may monitor progress by checking the Invoice Status field, available on the Invoice Summary page within EIM/ESM, to be sure a particular invoice is advancing as expected. Additionally, agency contract managers should contact their provider counterparts in the event of an invoice denial to support proactive issue resolution.

15. What does the "Scheduled Payment Date" field in EIM/ESM mean?
This field represents an internal MMARS value. It changes depending upon the status of the PRC and is not an accurate predictor of when a provider organization will receive payment.

16. My invoice was just denied. Can I create a supplemental invoice to correct it?
Yes. If the original, "regular" invoice was denied, a supplemental invoice must be created to correct it (you cannot submit another regular invoice). This may be done by creating a new supplemental invoice or by using "Copy Invoice" functionality to copy the denied invoice billing information. After copying the denied invoice the invoice type defaults to "regular." You must then click the "Supplemental" radio button before making the needed changes.

17. I was paid a different amount than I expected. How can I reconcile the difference?
During the payment process cycle in MMARS, all payments and debts between the Commonwealth and the provider are taken into consideration. When the Commonwealth makes a payment to a provider, the Commonwealth will first deduct any amount that is due to the state at that time. If a provider has an outstanding balance for a separate contract with a different agency or any other outstanding debt, that debt will be deducted from the payment. Questions may be directed to your agency contact or Virtual Gateway Customer Service at 1-800-421-0938 (TTY: 1-617-847-6578).