CMS Issues HIPAA Standard for Electronic Funds Transfers

CMS has issued a new rule that adopts standards for electronic funds transfers (“EFT”) under HIPAA.  The standards could reduce costs for providers by streamlining electronic payments from a health plan to a provider.  The rule requires the use of a trace number that automatically matches a remittance advice (“RA”), or notice of payment, and an EFT payment.  Currently, health plans often send RA’s separately from the EFT payment making it difficult to match up the bill and corresponding payment.  By requiring the trace number to match up the RA and EFT payment, the rule will save providers time by not having to manually reconcile the notice of payments from the EFT payment.  The regulation is effective January 1, 2012.  Covered entities must use the health care EFT standards by January 1, 2014.

The rule can be accessed at:  Adoption of Standards for Health Care Electronic Funds.

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