Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a new electronic funds transfer standard and associated operating rules went into effect at the beginning of the year. The Healthcare EFT Standard offers medical providers new opportunities to reduce costs, streamline accounting processes and improve operating efficiencies—ultimately allowing them to spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork.
In the past, the lack of an EFT standard placed a heavy burden on healthcare providers. NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association collaborated with the Council on Affordable Quality Healthcare in 2010 to research how healthcare providers and health plans used EFTs and found several problems with the former system. Providers interested in receiving EFT payments had to tackle numerous enrollment procedures that often led to delayed transactions. There was also no requirement to reassociate data with payments, making it difficult to match payments with their electronic remittance advices, which explain what the payment covered.