Benefits of Signing Up For EFT in Private Practice
EFT stands for Electronic Funds Transfer, and it is a way for you to receive payments from the insurance company by direct deposit rather than by paper check. There are many benefits to having this set up including shorter time to payment, less room for error when you or your biller are completing payment posting, and that updates to payment information can be made easier. In this article, we will share our experience with providers and how EFT payments improved their billing experience, and provide some general tips for enrolling for EFT.
Shorter Time to Payment
When EFT payments are set up, our providers have felt a positive impact on the cash flow of their practice. This is because electronic payment methods can occur instantaneously, rather than going through the process of printing, addressing, and mailing a check which then needs to be deposited. With direct deposit, when insurance claims are processed and paid payments are made directly to the bank account of your choosing. Having EFT payments set up also prevents the possibility of checks getting lost in the mail and needing to be reissued. This is something that our billers often see that causes a lot of stress for providers. Reissuing checks can add weeks on to the billing cycle for claims and cause cash flow problems for you and your practice. Getting EFT payments set up can eliminate this stress!
Less Room for Error in Payment Posting
Often when you have EFT payments set up, you will also be enrolled to receive electronic remittance advice, or ERA. This is an electronic version of an Explanation of Benefits, or EOB, which informs you or your biller which claims were paid or not paid by an insurance company. ERAs are often delivered directly to your EHR system, and posting payments becomes much easier because the system will match claim numbers automatically. When paper checks and paper EOBs are involved, it opens up room for error in payment posting because there is much more manual data entry. In some cases you may need to sign up for EFT payments and ERAs separately. Read more about setting up ERA in our blog post The Importance of EDI and ERA.
Easier to Make Updates
When you are utilizing EFT payments rather than paper checks, it can be a lot easier to make any updates to your information and still get paid. We have worked with a lot of providers whose checks were being sent to an old address because it had never been updated, and checks needed to be reissued. With EFT payments, you don’t need to worry about your money getting lost in the mail! You would only need to update your payment information if you change your bank information which is a less frequent occurrence than an address change. Also, making changes to your banking information often processes much quicker than address changes since EFT is often managed through an online platform or portal.
How to Sign Up for EFT
As mentioned above, sometimes enrolling for EFT payments is required in order to enroll to receive ERAs. This is the best case scenario, as it allows you to complete two tasks in one; in fact, when ERA and EFT are a combined application, this is something that Practice Solutions will help you to set up when you have a billing contract with us! If EFT is a separate application, you will need to obtain instructions from the insurance company on how to complete an application for EFT payments. Sometimes, this is included as part of the credentialing process. If it is not, or you originally opted to receive paper checks and are looking to transition to EFT payments, you should reach out to your provider representative or look for instructions on the insurance company’s website or within their provider portal.
Typical things that you may need to complete an EFT application include information about your bank, including the address of the branch that you utilize. You will also need a voided check to provide proof of your account and routing number, and it is best if the account owner on the check matches what the insurance company has on file for you or your business. If you have issues with your enrollment processing, this is the first thing we would recommend that you check into when troubleshooting. You may also need to obtain a letter from a representative at your bank in order to process the enrollment. It is a good idea to have a good relationship with a representative at your bank that can assist you in this process. Lastly, you may need to have an online account, often referred to as a portal, for the insurance company to complete this process. This list includes the general things that we have seen needed for various EFT enrollments, but it is not exhaustive. Different insurance companies have different requirements and processes for their EFT enrollments, and it is always best to work directly with the insurance company if you have any issues.
If you’ve signed up for EFT and you are still experiencing issues with receiving payment, you may want to consider outsourcing your billing to an expert. Working with a Practice Solutions billing specialist can remove the stress of insurance billing so that you have more time to focus on your patients, knowing that you are getting paid. Contact us today for a consultation to see if Practice Solutions is the right fit for your practice!