MACs may change the way electronic payments are issued, processed

December 4th, 2014 - Scott Kraft
Categories:   Reimbursement  
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Medicare already required its Medicare Administrative Contractors to pay you via electronic funds transfer (EFT) in most instances. But a recent policy change that requires all private insurance plans to offer EFT may result in tweaks to how the MACs pay as well.

In transmittal 135 to its One-Time Notifications Manual, CMS instructed the MACs to follow the same standard EFT payments required of private payers under the CAQH CORE EFT/ERA Operating Rules that take effect July 7.

Ultimately, it’s probably a good change because it ensures standardization among all of your payers, including Medicare. In the short term, you may need to connect with your financial institution to see if it needs additional information about your practice or plans to change the information communicated when a payment occurs.

Pay close attention to the Reassociation Trace Number, TRN and the accompanying company entry description, as both may change when payments are transmitted from the MACs bank account into your bank account.

One bit of good news is that it should become easier to track your payments and link them back to the associated claim. The CORE standards require the payer to transmit the TRN within three business days on either side of a payment and always list it in the same place on a remittance advice. MACs were not required to do this previously, and did not always do so.

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