Electronic fund transfer (EFT) is one of the most common and beneficial methods of transferring funds from one source to the next. Beyond a doubt it can be beneficial within any environment, including the medical practices. Many providers have been hesitant to make this option available to patients and providers due in part to numerous misconceptions about the process, costs, and overall security involved. However, upon closer look, it's clear to see this method of transferring funds is quite beneficial to the entire healthcare field.
It Reduces Fees Paid By Providers
With the use of electronic funds transfer, processing fees associated with other payment methods are eliminated. Specifically, fees charged to providers for the processing and deposit of paper checks or credit card fees are eliminated. Some of these fees amount to as much as five percent of the total payment the patient makes to the provider. By eliminating this through EFT, it is possible for providers to retain more of each payment patients make to them. In fact, most providers see a reduction of $3.04 per check processed by making this switch. Comparatively, the cost for EFT transfers is about $0.34.
EFT Reduces Costs
A key reason for the move to EFT within the healthcare sector is because it reduces costs related to manual processing. Unlike the process of managing paper checks or using virtual forms of payment, electronic funds transfer is far more efficient. There is less administrative processing involved, which reduces the amount of labor hours spent on processing payments. Instead of the delay in time waiting for manual processing, EFTs are faster and they reach the provider's account sooner, providing faster access to funds. Inner office labor savings like this can improve overall profits for any provider within the healthcare sector.
The Process of Setting Up EFT Is Easy
A common misconception associated with this method is that the process of establishing EFT is too difficult or too time-consuming. That's not the case at all, even with HIPAA requirements in place. The process is even streamlined by various resources available to the provider. In short, making the move to this method is efficient. Healthcare facilities do not need to learn a complex new system and there is no specialized equipment required. In short, the move to EFT is not only streamlined and efficient, but it can ultimately save you time in the office while also improving patient care.
EFT Is Secure
Perhaps the biggest risk for many health care providers is the security aspect of any payment change. While many providers are over cautious about the safety of patient information due to very stringent laws and cyber risks and threats, the process of using this electronic means of transferring funds is very security. The process is done in a method that limits risk significantly. The funds are transferred from the bank account of the payer to the bank account of the ACH network. This network is long-standing and quite security. What's more, it is more likely that a check will be lost in the mail than for an EFT payment to be compromised.
Reconciliation and Accounting Is Simplified
Beyond the actual process, EFT is the ideal choice for its overall efficiency. It aids in optimizing the processing of all payments, reducing problems and improving efficiency in all areas. It allows for simplified payment reconciliation when used along with a standard electronic remittance advice (ERA). Comparatively, the use of a credit card payment through virtual means does not allow for ERA. As a result, there is still the need for a manual process to occur.
Overall, electronic funds transfer is a solid investment and a long-term, efficient tool for moving funds. Used for all aspects of payment within the healthcare system, it is one of the best investments any office can make.