Benefits of Electronic Payment and Remittances
Published on November 30, 2019
If getting paid faster, reducing paperwork, and lowering your practice’s administrative cost appeals to you, then your practice could greatly benefit by enrolling to receive payments and remittances electronically.
Electronically transferred payments are credited to accounts before traditional paper checks, making this the fastest reimbursement option, as it allows your funds to be available sooner. Many payers have a check writing schedule which allows for predictable payment patterns, eliminating mailing time and deposit holds, and in turn can improving your practice’s cash flow. The time your practice spends on processing mail, preparing deposits, and making trips to the bank can be significantly lowered by enrolling in electronic funds transfer (EFT). Another added benefit of EFT is the increased security. Receiving payments electronically, eliminates the risks associated with lost or stolen checks.
An electronic remittance advice (ERA) is an electronic version of the medical insurance payment explanation of benefits. The ERA provides the same details about claim payment that is found on the paper remit, including claim adjustments based on contracted agreements, information about secondary payers, patient’s benefit coverage, the expected deductible and any patient co-pay or co-insurance. Many billing offices now have the capability to transfer this payment information to individual patient accounts electronically, saving time and ensuring payments are posted accurately and in a timely manner.
In January 2014 as a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Healthcare EFT Standard was enacted. This standard required that all health plans make available the option to pay claims electronically. Since that time Medicare has solely reimbursed provider claims electronically. Many other governmental payers have implemented this as well, and in some instances require the use of EFT/ERA.
Each payer has a different enrollment process in order to receive funds and remittances electronically. A knowledgeable billing office can help to navigate the various enrollment options and ensure that your practice is enrolled properly to begin reaping the many benefits that electronic funds transfer and electronic remittances provide.
By Kelli Smith
Provider Enrollment Manager