21 October 2021
Hobbies: Practice management
Aetna recently announced that it will start moving to a fully electronic payment and remittance process in September 2021. The payer said it plans to switch to the exclusive use of electronic remittance advice (ERA), transfer Electronic Fund (EFT) and Electronic Explanation of Benefit Statements (EOB) for all participating and non-participating providers by September 2022.
For claims payment details, Aetna said providers have the option of obtaining an Electronic Explanation of Benefits (eEOB) through the Availity web portal or registering for Electronic Payment Advice (ERA) from the ‘one of Aetna’s directly connected providers via Change Healthcare payer’s registration. services.
Suppliers will have two options for receiving electronic payments – via EFT or via a virtual credit card (VCC). Suppliers who do not register for the TEF will automatically receive payments through the VCC payment method. Providers who wish to enroll in EFT can do so through Change Healthcare’s Payer Enrollment Services.
What is a virtual credit card?
With the VCC payment method, payers send credit card payment information and instructions to physicians, who process payments using standard credit card technology.
This method is advantageous for payers, but expensive for physicians. Health plans often receive cash back rewards from credit card companies for VCC transactions. During this time, VCC payments are subject to transaction and interchange fees, which are the responsibility of the doctor’s office and can be as high as 5% per transaction. Physicians can avoid these interchange fees by enrolling in the TEF.
While there is no requirement that payors continue to issue paper checks, physicians have the right to request electronic funds instead. HIPAA requires all health plans to offer standardized EFT using the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) network. Similar to direct deposit, ACH EFT allows health plan payments to be made directly to a physician’s designated bank account. Each ACH EFT transaction has only one fee of around $ 0.34, far less than the potential 5% fee charged for VCC transactions. To receive ACH EFT, physicians must request and register for this payment method with payers.
For more details, visit aetnapaperlessoffice.com.
Suppliers with questions can contact Aetna at (888) 632-3862.